Archive for January 19th, 2010

by Pete Talbot

Filing deadline isn’t until March 15 at 5 p.m. but there are already some interesting developments in Missoula area races.

First, a little flip-flop. Democratic Rep. Teresa Henry has filed for termed-out Democratic Sen. Carolyn Squires’ seat (SD 48). And Ms. Squires has filed for Ms. Henry’s house seat (HD 96). Teresa still had two years before she was termed out in her old house seat, so this is an unusual move. Adding to the mix is veteran Democratic legislator Tom Facey, who’s challenging Ms. Henry in the primary. No Republican has filed for SD 48 yet.

The only other senate seat up for grabs out of five in the Missoula area is SD 49. The incumbent Democrat, Sen. Dave Wanzenried, hasn’t filed, nor have any challengers.

Since they ran in 2008, SD 46’s Carol Williams, SD 47’s Ron Erickson and SD 50’s Cliff Larson — all Democrats — get a pass.

The Missoula area has ten Montana House districts, nine-out-of-ten are held by Democrats and they’re all on the 2010 ballot.

Democratic incumbent Tim Furey is the only one to file in HD 91. Same with Democratic incumbents Dick Barrett (HD 93), Diane Sands (HD 95), Michele Reinhart (HD 97) and Betsy Hands (HD 99).

There are some new faces on the landscape. Robin Hamilton, the incumbent in my district (HD 92) chose not to run again. Community organizer Bryce Bennett has filed and is actively campaigning. Another Democrat, Dean McGovern, head of UM’s Campus Compact, was vigorously exploring a run at this house seat earlier, but he hasn’t filed and I haven’t heard much from him lately. He does have a website up, though.

Then there’s Ellie Hill, a name synonymous with the Poverello Center and many other nonprofits. She’s the sole entry, and running as a Democrat, in HD 94. That’s Dave McAlpin’s old seat but he’s now the head of the state crime lab here in Missoula and he probably won’t get time off to run, or serve.

I’ve already mentioned Carolyn Squires in HD 96.

The only Republican to file in the Missoula area is Michael Sopuch in HD 98. This is incumbent Sue Malek’s seat but she hasn’t filed, yet. I couldn’t find a website for Sopuch. Indeed, the only reference I could find was testimony given by a Michael Sopuch of Cash King LTD, a title loan company. This was before the Montana Department of Administration about title loan company practices.

Finally, there’s HD 100. Democrat Willis Curdy has filed. He ran last time and lost to Incumbent Republican Bill Nooney by 79 votes. Nooney has yet to file but as Nooney’s arch-nemesis Bill Vaughn points out, Nooney has a lot on his plate these days (you’ll have to scroll down to the red sub-head that reads “Falling Down”).

By the way, here’s a map to show where these districts are. The primary election will be held Tuesday, June 8.

(I’m working on candidate website links.  Most are under construction or old, if I could find them at all.  Please contact me so I can update this and future posts with current website info.  Thanks.)

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by jhwygirl

It’s election season, yes it is!

Ellie Hill, attorney, business owner, and Missoula’s most tireless advocate for the homeless is kicking up her level of community activism and throwing in for Dave McAlpin’s seat, who won’t be seeking re-election.

No one can dispute Ms. Hill’s tenacity and hard work. As executive director of the Poverello Center, Hill has done a superb job ensuring that necessary services are provided to our communities neediest – a large percentage of which are veterans. Her work has even been recognized in Washington D.C., where Sen. Jon Tester recently spoke at length in the Senate Veteran’s Affair Committee to the important services the Poverello Center is providing.

As a business owner, Hill has also been active in a number of community-oriented organizations, including terms on the City’s Neighborhood Community Forum and Historic Preservation Commission as well as the Sustainable Business Council Board of Directors.

On her campaign:

“I will work hard in this race but it will also be fun. I enjoy continuing to meet my neighbors in the district. They can count on me knocking on their doors and discovering what we can do together to make House District 94 even better. I am ready to take my experience and put it to work fighting for Missoula in Helena. I believe that government can do better.”

Ms. Hill isn’t in my House District, but I am thrilled to see another strong unwavering Progressive step up to run for office. The 2011 legislature will be a better place with her in it.




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