Election filings for local, state, national offices
Things were busy at the Hill County Clerk and Recorder's Office — and the Montana Secretary of State's Office — Thursday with the opening of the candidate filing for the 2010 elections. On the federal level, Democrat Dennis McDonald has filed as a candidate for Montana's sole seat in the House of Representatives, saying he believes this is the year to unseat incumbent Republican Denny Rehberg. "I don't ever recall a time when there was so much angst among the public," McDonald, a Montana Democratic Party chair, said. Rehberg had not filed for re-election as of this morning. A release from his office had not been received by deadline this morning. Other people who have said they intend to file include Democrats Tyler Gernant and Melinda Gopher, both of Missoula. A former attorney who has ranched near Melville since the early 1970s, McDonald said people are upset about the economy and health care. "I think that this year there is a feeling that we should 'throw the rascals out,'" he said. "In general, that might tend to work against Democrats. "But that cuts both ways," McDonald added. On the state level, the only local filings are for a seat on the Public Servic Commission and seats held by incumbent Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, who represents House District 34 in Hill and Blaine counties, and incumbent Rep. Roy Hollandsworth, R-Brady, who represents House District 28 in Liberty, Chouteau and Toole counties; Hill County Deputy Attorney Kristin Hansen of Havre as a Republican candidate for the seat in Hill County's House District 17. Speaker of the House Bob Bergren, a Democrat, cannot run for reelection in District 33 due to term limits. No one had filed as of this morning for the seats in House District 32 in Hill, Chouteau, Blaine, Phillips and Valley counTies. Democratic incumbent Tony Belcourt, who said last month he plans to run for re-election, had not filed as of this morning. No one had filed this morning for the seat in Senate District 17 in Hill and Blaine counties. Incumbent Democrat Ken "Kim" Hansen cannot run for the seat due to term limits. Two candidates have filed for the seat in District 1 of the Public Service Commission. Jerry Black of Shelby, a Republican, and Democrat Don Ryan of Great Falls have filed as candidates for that seat. Incumbent Democrat Greg Jorgenson, chair of the PSC, cannot run for re-election due to term limits. In county elections, the only contested election as of this morning was for Hill County Attorney. Incumbent Gina Dahl and her deputy county attorney, Lindsay Lorang, both have filed as Democrats. In a press release announcing her candidacy, Dahl said keeping her in the office would ensure longterm continuity in law enforcement in the community. "I am dedicated to bringing justice to victims and holding offenders accountable. I have been a prosecutor for nine-and-a-half years and have been working in the Hill County Attorney's office for over six of those years," she said in the release. Hill County Commissioner Mike Anderson, a Democrat, filed for reelection Thursday. In a press release announcing his candidacy, Anderson listed many projects on which the commission has worked during his tenure, including the creation of a new busing system in the area, the creation of an industrial park, the approval of building a new landfill, and using alternative energy to reduce the costs of operating county buildings. "It doesn't seem possible that five years have gone by already," Anderson said in the release. "I am excited to continue to work hard for all of the people of Hill County and look forward to visiting with everyone on the campaign trail." In other county filings, Darla Dahl has filed as a Democrat for the Hill County Clerk and Recorder position. Incumbent Diane Mellem, also a Democrat, had not filed for re-election as of this morning. Kathy Olson, a Democrat, has filed for re-election to her seat as Hill County auditor, and Hill County Sheriff Don Brostrom, also a Democrat, has filed for re-election. Hill County Treasurer Carrie Dickson also has filed for re-election as a Democrat. As of this morning, no one had filed to run for the Hill County Justice of the Peace office, now held by Terry Stoppa. No one had filed for county superintendent of schools, now held by Shirley Isbell. The Hill County Commission recently approved cutting that position to part-time starting in 2011, citing budgetary problems and the cost savings in reducing the position.