A local senator, in the process of moving to a different state to start a new job, said he plans to soon formally file his resignation from the Legislature with the secretary of state.
“I probably will be doing that the end of next week,” Sen. Rowlie Hutton, R-Havre, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
Hutton sent a letter to his congregation at the Fifth Avenue Christian Church Jan. 27 announcing he would officially resign from the church April 4, with his last Sunday there being May 1. He informed the Senate leadership that he would resign his public office at the end of the session.
Hutton said Tuesday that he and his wife, Suzette, are in the process of moving to the Omaha, Neb., area.
“We’re kind of vagabonds right now,” he said.
Hutton said he will be preaching at Kingsway Christian Church, and he and his wife also will work as head residents at Nebraska Christian College in Papillion, Neb., near Omaha.
Under state law, a legislator must file a formal resignation with the secretary of state. The county political central committees of the legislator’s party from the legislator’s district then provide a list of three nominees to the county commissions from the legislator’s district, who then select the replacement.
Andrew Brekke, chair of the Hill County Republicans, said his committee and the Blaine County Republicans have formed a panel to review applicants once the secretary of state informs the counties that Hutton has resigned.
Under state law, once the Secretary of State Linda McCulloch receives the resignation she has up to seven days to notify the Hill and Blaine county commissioners and Republican central committees.
The committees then have 45 days to provide the three prospective appointees. The commissioners from both counties then have 15 days to appoint and confirm the new senator and notify McCulloch of their appointment.
The procedure would have been under a much tighter timeline if Hutton had resigned during the session. State law requires the notification by the secretary of state, the political committees’ submission of a list of prospects and the commissions’ decisions each to happen within five days.