For those who expected former Congressman and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to run away with Tuesday’s primary election, they were in for a surprise.

KGVO reached out to Dr. Al Olszewski on Wednesday for his reaction to the razor thin margin between him and Zinke.

“This is exciting for Western Montana,” said Olszewski. “We're excited to be in this position. Ryan is just a couple hundred votes ahead, and we still have votes that have to be tallied in Lake County and here in Flathead County. So we're in a position where we still see a pathway to win this and it'll be razor thin.”

Olszewski was asked about the prospect of facing Democratic primary winner Monica Tranel.

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“This race in the general election is going to be all about whether or not western Montana is happy with a national Democrat and how they're running our country,” he said. “If you're happy with inflation the way it is, if you're happy with six dollar a gallon gas and you're happy that there's no baby formula and, and that Montana beef is going extinct, then vote Democrat, but if you want to change it, it's going to be time to change the party that's in that control and running Washington, D.C.”

Olszewski said he is ready to embrace the challenge of representing Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I’m a D.C. outsider with legislative experience,” he said. “The number one problem in Washington D.C. is that Congress is not in regular order. They are not running committees. They're not voting and letting people speak on behalf or in opposition to bills. They are not passing a budget. They're just playing politics all the way to the very end, and then shoving everything into one omnibus bill, whether good or horrible, and then passing it and wiping their hands.”

Dr. Olszewski, like all Montanans, is watching the Secretary of State’s website as the votes are counted.

“You know, again, I’m really fully focused on what is happening here in the next 48 hours, especially with the remaining count in Flathead County and in Lake County and if those votes in this northern part of the district, go towards me like, like Flathead Lake and Sanders County, and if Lincoln County goes my way, then I'm the Republican candidate going into the general election.”

He said the general election will be ‘a referendum on how the Democrats are ruining our country’.

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