A previous version of this article incorrectly said Penny Ronning won the Democratic nomination in Zinke's district. She won the nomination in Montana's other House district. The article has been corrected.
Zinke prevailed over four Republican primary opponents and seeks to represent the new 1st District in western Montana created during redistricting. Montana now has two seats in the House of Representatives.
A former Navy SEAL officer and state senator, Zinke previously represented Montana in the House from 2015 to 2017, when he joined the Trump administration. He resigned as secretary of the Interior Department in December 2018 under pressure from the White House during probes into alleged misconduct in office.
The Interior Department’s inspector general had recently referred an inquiry to the Justice Department, which ultimately declined to bring charges. In a report released this year, the inspector general found that Zinke broke ethics rules while participating in real estate negotiations and lied to an ethics official.
With almost all votes counted Thursday evening, the AP said, Zinke had close to 42 percent of the vote from Tuesday’s primary. Al Olszewski, a former state legislator, trailed closely at nearly 40 percent, with the other three GOP candidates far behind.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Zinke thanked Montanans for “ignoring the political BS” and also paid tribute to Trump, whose endorsement featured prominently in Zinke’s campaign. The former president’s approval remains coveted in GOP primary races even as Trump’s picks have fallen short in states such as Georgia, Idaho and Nebraska.
Monica Tranel won the Democratic nomination, according to AP.
The 2022 Midterm Elections
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