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MT Democrats hopeful in 2014

Published On: Jan 10 2014 07:12:40 PM MST   Updated On: Jan 10 2014 07:18:04 PM MST

For 4 years, Republicans have held large majorities in both chambers of the Montana State Legislature.

Democrat Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, says that could all change in November.

"We're confident that we're going to see majorities in the house and senate, and grand slams from Missoula will bring them back again," said Hill.

Hill believes the chances for Democrats to take more seats in the state legislature increase as more left-leaning cities like Missoula and Butte continue to grow.

“With Missoula Democrats succeeding so well with voters - last session 15 out of 17 were held by Democrats - we're seeing this time that it will be 17 out of 17."

Champ Edmunds, R-Missoula, is giving up one of the seats in Missoula that Democrats are targeting in 2014 to focus on his campaign for United States Senate, but his seat isn’t the only one that could be in jeopardy.

"There is a concern that we may not be able to hold Republican majorities in the house and the senate this next session,” said Edmunds.

He blames the vulnerability on shifting demographics and unfair redistricting methods.

"We did our best the last 3 or 4 year, when this redistricting was going on, to try to get the districts to be fairly drawn. Unfortunately we weren't as successful as we had hoped,” said Edmunds.

This early in the election season, Edmunds still predicts Republicans will retain their majority for the 2015 session.

"I think that we'll hold majorities in both houses. They might not be as big of majorities, but Ii feel like, if we have the right people, that we'll be okay."