Former Missoula city councilor, Republican Dick Haines, has officially asked for a recount in the November 3 State Senate race he narrowly lost to Democrat Diane Sands.

Haines said he was following the wishes of many supporters in pursuing the recount, as some had said they did not trust the voting apparatus utilized by the county elections office.

"I don't know how to say this, but I have a lot of people in this business that tell me they really don't trust what goes on down there, and I'm not sure what to think about that," Haines said. "But, since so many have come forward encouraging me to seek a recount, and have offered to help me pay for it, I'm going ahead."

Haines said the recount will begin Thursday.

"At 2 p.m. on Thursday, that's when we're going to start and we'll go till 5," he said. "Then the next day, Friday, we'll start at 8:30 a.m. till 5, and if there are still some ballots that haven't been counted, we'll start again on Monday morning."

Should he be successful in his effort to gain his state senate seat, Haines has several projects he'd like to pursue. One is to consult with the Montana Highway Department about the possibility of building a bypass near Missoula, so there isn't so much traffic concentrated on Brooks and Reserve.

"The bypass would be to the west of us here," he said. "It would leave I-90 to the west of us, and go south and come back on Highway 93 South. There's a lot of land out there that is owned by someone, but I see the least amount of disruption in that route."

Haines also wants to see more state money go to help veterans with mental illness, should be be successful in his recount.

Haines lost the election by only 31 votes. He posted a $2,640 bond on Monday with the Montana Secretary of State's office in Helena, to help pay for the recount.

Dick Haines