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HELENA - Three state House Republicans defeated in contentious primary-election battles this month say they will file as write-in candidates.

John Ward of Helena, Carol Lambert of Broadus and Bruce Malcolm of Emigrant were among 14 GOP lawmakers that Republican Rep. Roger Koopman of Bozeman complained were not conservative enough.

They were subjected to a heavy dose of negative campaign mailings, such as one that accused Malcolm of coddling child-molesting serial killers. He had voted against a death-penalty bill.

Ward says he plans to win, and does not believe his write-in candidacy may help Democrats gain his seat in the Legislature.

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Ward was one of the Republicans who forged a budget agreement with Gov. Brian Schweitzer to draw 2007's wild legislative session to a close.

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