By SHANDA BRADSHAW and TROY WARZOCHA
Once an appointed fill-in for his lawmaker son, Democratic incumbent Tim Furey proved his ability to serve in his own right Tuesday and secured his second term as House District 91 representative.
Running in his first election, Furey defeated Republican challenger Walt Hill 62 to 38 percent. With all precincts reporting, Furey received 2,356 votes compared to Hill’s 1,465.
Furey, 54, said his victory is a testament to the vision his son Kevin had for the sprawling district. Kevin Furey left his House District seat in order to report for duty with the Army Reserves. He is serving in northern Iraq.
“It’s quite an honor to be able to carry on your son’s legacy,” Tim Furey said.
That legacy includes Furey’s support for state-provided energy assistance for low-income individuals and funding first-class facilities for the University of Montana.
Hill, Furey’s opponent, is a 71-year-old retired University of Montana professor who lives in Seeley Lake. He said the combination of challenging a Democratic incumbent in a Democratic stronghold was too much.
“I guess I should have campaigned harder,” Hill said.
Hill said this will be his last campaign because there are younger, more vibrant candidates available.
Furey said he knocked on more than 3,000 doors between May and November and attributed his victory to being involved with the community as much as possible.
“The main thing is visiting with people, knocking on doors and talking to people,” Furey said.
Currently, Furey is director of development at Opportunity Resources in Missoula.
The major issues in the House District 91 race surrounded Montana’s economy, energy costs, and university funding.