A joint Republican committee has set a date to interview candidates to take the place of first-term Sen. Rowlie Hutton.
Andrew Brekke, chair of the Hill County Republican Central Committee, said this morning that the six candidates will be interviewed Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Chinook Motor Inn.
“Hopefully, we will emerge with a list of three at that point, ” he said.
Hutton, a Havre Republican, announced his resignation in February while serving in his first term in the Legislature. He filed his official letter with the Montana Secretary of State dated July 13, and his resignation became official on July 18.
He moved to Nebraska to preach at Kingsway Christian Church, and serve as a head resident at Nebraska Christian College in Papillion, Neb., near Omaha, Neb.
Under state law, when the Legislature is out of session, the party committees from the counties in which the legislator serves have 45 days to select a list of three nominees to the county commissions of the counties. Those commissions then have 15 days to appoint a replacement from the nominees.
Brekke said the list of six candidates the committee members will interview Tuesday are Don Richman of Harlem, Richard Cronk of Chinook, Douglas Stuart of Harlem, and Les Bender, Ruben McKinney and Craig Tilleman, all of Havre.
The six party members on the committee are Brekke, Brad Lotton and Gail Rader, all of Havre, and Miles Hutton of Turner, Randy Hinebauch of Chinook; and George Brekke of Harlem.
Andrew Brekke said the plan is for each candidate to have up to 10 minutes to tell the committee members what their strengths are, what they have to offer, and what their plans as a senator are. The group will have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates, then will go into a closed session to discuss the interviews and select the three finalists.
“We could have another meeting, if necessary, but we think we can get it done that night, ” Andrew Brekke said.
Once selected, the names will be turned over to the Blaine and Hill county commissions to select Hutton’s replacement.