- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock would have to call a special election if Ryan Zinke vacates his U.S. House seat to head President-elect Donald Trump’s Interior Department.

Trump has offered the Whitefish Republican the cabinet post, but it is unclear whether Zinke has accepted it.

State law requires a special election be held between 85 and 100 days of a vacancy in the office of a U.S. representative or senator.

Bullock, a Democrat, could appoint a temporary replacement congressman until the election results are certified, under state law.

Bullock would have to appoint a Republican from a list of three candidates provided by the Montana GOP central committee.

Bullock’s office released a statement Tuesday that said, in part, “It is reassuring that a Western voice is being advanced for a post that is critical for Western states.”

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