Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Alex Ross 

Hutchinson faces off against Kassmier in House primary

 

February 15, 2018

Courtesy photo

Darrold Hutchinson

A second Republican has filed with the Montana Secretary of State's office to run for the Montana House of Representatives in House District 27.

Darrold Hutchinson, an aviator who farms north of Hingham, filed Feb. 9 to run for the seat, the 2018 candidate filing list on the Secretary of State's website says.

Hutchinson will go up against former Fort Benton mayoral candidate Joshua Kassmier in the primary. Incumbent James O'Hara, R-Fort Benton, has opted not to run for re-election and instead is making a bid for a seat on the Chouteau County Commission.

No Democratic, independent or third-party candidates have filed to run for the seat as of filing deadline today.

House District 27 stretches from the Canadian border north of Chester down to Great Falls. The district includes the communities of Kremlin, Gildford, Rudyard, Hingham, Joplin, Inverness, Big Sandy and Fort Benton. Hutchinson has twice unsuccessfully run for the seat in the Republican primaries. In 2014, he lost to state Rep. Roy Hollandsworth, R-Brady, and to O'Hara in 2016.

Hutchinson, along with Brad Lotton of Havre and then-Liberty County Commissioner Russ Tempel, were all considered to fill the state Senate seat in Senate District 14 seat vacated by Sen. Kris Hansen, R-Havre. Hansen resigned from the Senate in 2016 to move to Helena after accepting the job of chief legal counsel to Montana Auditor Matthew Rosendale.

The commissioners from the counties involved chose Tempel for the seat.

Courtesy photo

Joshua Kassmier

The 348-vote-margin by which he lost the 2016 primary and the news O'Hara would not seek re-election, Hutchinson said, prompted him to make another run for the seat.

Although he said that he believes in keeping state spending under control and government more efficient, he said that he does not come to the campaign with an agenda.

Many people, he said, get elected with a big agenda, only to end up becoming frustrated and ineffective.

"I don't want to be that person," he said.

In other local races, Republican Steven Gannon has filed to run for another term as Chouteau County Attorney. As of this morning he has no primary or general election challengers. Toni Frieling-Eckhoff has filed to run as a Republican for Chouteau County Treasurer and Accessor.

 

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