By NATE ROTT and MEGAN GYERMEK
Conservative values trumped the Hollywood hopeful Tuesday in House District 87 race as incumbent Republican Ron Stoker defeated challenger Democrat Peter Rosten by a wide margin.
Stoker said his three terms in office and the strong conservative nature of his constituents held off the Democratic tide that swept through much of the nation.
“I come from a very conservative area of the county,” said Stoker, who claimed victory with 66 percent of the vote. With all precincts counted, Stoker received 3,523 votes to Rosten’s 1,850.
Rosten, a Hollywood movie producer who brought media art program to public schools in the Bitterroot, touted fresh ideas and his ability to get things done.
He was philosophical about defeat.
“Although there’s a more articulate way of putting this, (stuff) happens,” Rosten said. “It wasn’t meant to be.”
Stoker campaigned on the strength of his legislative experience. He said he will continue his work with the Human Services, Ethics and Judiciary committees. His work with the Judiciary Committee sent a large amount of bills to the house last term, he said.
In the new term, Stoker plans to continue a bill draft dealing with judge’s placement of convicted criminals. He was handpicked by Sen. Daniel McGee of Laurel to carry the bill because of his knowledge and experience with its background.
Although he lost, Rosten said he enjoyed the experience of the campaign, and his defeat was tempered by the results of the elections nationwide.
“If nothing else, I’m a better man and a better citizen,” Rosten said. “The real story tonight is Barack Obama. I could have changed Montana, but Obama can change the world.”