HELENA, Mont. -- Democratic Lt. Gov. Ted Schwinden won the Montana gubernatorial election Tuesday over lawyer-legislator Jack Ramirez, but Ronald Reagan took an easy victory in the presidential balloting.
Schwinden, 55, swamped his Republican opponent.
A grain farmer with an academic bent, Schwinden served in the Montana Legislature 20 years ago, then was appointed commissioner of State Lands in 1969 by former Gov. Forrest Anderson. He won the lieutenant governor's job in 1976, then upset Gov. Thomas Judge in this year's gubernatorial primary.
Schwinden the past several years had a key role in the design of a controversial state energy and conservation policy that includes the nation's highest severance tax on coal.