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HELENA – Democratic state Rep. Julie French of Scobey has withdrawn as a candidate for the Public Service Commission’s northern Montana district and instead filed to run for re-election to her northeastern Montana House seat.

French, 56, filed Thursday to run for re-election in House District 36, which covers Daniels and Sheridan counties and part of Roosevelt County. She has represented the district since 2007.

Republican Austin Knudsen of Culbertson also has filed to run for the House seat held by French.

French, who could not be reached for comment Friday, had filed in January to run for Public Service Commission District 1, an open seat that covers 19 counties in north-central and northeast Montana.

The PSC regulates public utilities in Montana, such as electric and telephone companies.

French’s withdrawal from the PSC race leaves former state Sen. Don Ryan of Great Falls as the only Democrat running to succeed PSC Chairman Greg Jergeson, a Chinook Democrat who can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

Two Republicans also are in the race for PSC District 1: State Sen. Jerry Black of Shelby and freelance writer Travis Kavulla of Great Falls.

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