Crowded primary battles are solidifying with the last day of filing for access to the 2012 ballot.

Seven Republicans are seeking the governor's office being vacated by Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

And several Republican incumbent state legislators are again facing a primary challenge.

Montana Democrats say they believe the turmoil will help them reclaim legislative seats lost in 2010 when Republicans rushed to historic margins in the state House. The Montana GOP dismissed the prediction, saying the party embraces the competition as a way of getting the best candidates.

Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat running for run governor, received a last-minute friendly primary challenge. If he had remained uncontested, he would have been forced to return thousands in campaign contributions earmarked just for primary season.