Jodi Rave: Denise Juneau wins Montana education post
"Denise Juneau - the unofficial winner in the race for Montana’s top K-12 educator - was on her way to making history Tuesday night as the first Native elected to a statewide office, and arguably the first Native woman in the nation to do so.

“Montanans should be proud we’re on the brink of her being the first Native woman to hold a statewide office in the nation,” said Olivia Riutta, a Democratic campaign field organizer. “I’m thankful we’re moving in this direction. It’s telling. It gives me hope. This is the United States we’re taught about in school. It’s the great American dream.”

As of press time, early voting results placed Juneau with 53 percent of the total votes cast in a three-way race for the state’s superintendent of public instruction; Republican Elaine Herman had 41 percent of the vote; Libertarian Donald Eisenmenger, 5 percent.

The winner of the race will replace Linda McCulloch, who was prevented from seeking re-election based on term limits.

“We’re excited and hope the numbers hold,” said Juneau, director of the state’s Indian education office. “If the trend keeps going - with Obama winning Montana - it really looks good for all the Democrats in the state right now.”

Juneau, an enrolled citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, watched election returns with supporters and family Tuesday night at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena. A count of early absentee votes showed her with a solid lead in some of the state’s most populated counties, including Big Horn, Lewis and Clark and Missoula."

Get the Story:
Juneau will be first Native to win statewide office (The MIssoulian 11/5)

Related Stories:
Jodi Rave: Racial overtones in Montana campaign (10/29)
Editorial: Denise Juneau for Montana education (10/24)
Editorial: Elect Denise Juneau to top education post (10/15)
Indian candidate wins nomination in Montana (6/4)
Jodi Rave: Montana candidate endorsed by INDN's list (5/19)