- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the Montana special election for (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

Montana Republican officials say the GOP’s field of prospective candidates for the U.S. House race has narrowed to six.

The GOP said in a statement Thursday that real-estate investor Drew Turiano has dropped out of the running for the party nomination.

That leaves state Sen. Ed Buttrey, businessman Greg Gianforte, state Rep. Carl Glimm, former state Sen. Ken Miller, contractor Dean Rehbein and former state Sen. Ed Walker.

Republican delegates will gather in Helena Monday to choose their candidate for the May 25 election. Democrats will meet on Sunday, and the Libertarian Party plans to select its nominee by Monday.

___

10:25 a.m.

Bozeman technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte says he has commitments from enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination for Montana’s special election for the U.S. House.

Gianforte says 140 of the approximately 200 Republicans who will be voting for the GOP candidate in Monday’s special nominating convention have committed to supporting him.

Another contender, Republican Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls, said Thursday that he doesn’t believe Gianforte has those delegates locked down. Buttrey says he appeals to more voters than the conservative Gianforte, and that he has better knowledge of state and federal issues.

Buttrey and Gianforte are two of seven people vying to represent the GOP in the May 25 election to replace former U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke.

Democrats will gather on Sunday to pick their nominee from eight people who have expressed interest.


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