By Tim Leeds
Montana legislators Greg Jergeson and Matt McCann are being honored in fine roasting fashion in Chinook on Sunday.
The Blaine County Democratic Committee is sponsoring the roast for Sen. Jergeson, D-Chinook, and Rep. McCann, D-Harlem, whose service in their respective houses will end next year because of term limits. McCann has served in the House for eight years and Jergeson in the Senate for 22 years.
"I believe friends of Greg and Matt, be they Democrat or Republican, will enjoy the evening's festivities," said Terry Sheppard, Blaine County Democratic chair.
Former state Rep. Francis Bardanouve, whose 36 years in the House is the longest term of any Montana representative, will be the master of ceremonies at the event. Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown, whose political career has some interesting parallels to Jergeson's, said he plans to attend and be one of the featured roasters.
Both Jergeson and Brown were sworn in as the youngest members of the Montana Senate in January 1975. Jergeson was 24 and Brown was 27. Brown had served two terms in the Montana House of Representatives, while Jergeson had served as an intern for House Speaker Harold Gerke of Billings.
Brown never lost an election, serving in the Senate from 1975 to 1996, when he retired. His colleagues elected him president of the Senate in 1995, and he served in that post two years. Brown was elected Montana secretary of state in 2000.
Jergeson did lose a re-election bid in 1980, but was elected to the Senate again in 1986. In 1993 his colleagues chose him as Senate majority leader for a two-year term.
The roast, in the Chinook Motor Inn, will start at 5 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour, and a prime rib dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Ordering tickets in advance is recommended, as seating is limited.
To order tickets, call Ray Peck at 265-4908, John Musgrove at 265-1787 or Terry Sheppard at 357-3619.