Democrats rush to choose new Senate candidate by Aug. 20

2014-08-07T18:56:00Z 2014-08-14T16:46:18Z Democrats rush to choose new Senate candidate by Aug. 20Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette
August 07, 2014 6:56 pm  • 

HELENA — Montana Democratic Party officials have not yet set a time and a place for a convention to nominate a new Senate candidate to replace Sen. John Walsh, but said they will do so as soon as possible.

In a conference call with reporters and party members Thursday just hours after Walsh resigned as a candidate, state Democratic Chair Jim Larson and Executive Director Andrea Marcoccio outlined steps that will be taken to nominate a new Senate candidate.

A new candidate must selected by Aug. 20 under state law, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch has said.

About 175 Democrats will be allowed to cast votes in the nomination election. They include a chair and vice chair and committeeman and committeewoman from each county Democratic central committee, all voting members of state party’s executive board, all Democratic state elected officials and the Democratic leaders of the state Senate and state House.

Marcoccio pledged it will be an open and transparent process.

Larson praised Walsh for his service to the state and nation in the Montana National Guard and as senator and lieutenant governor.

He said this election is not about one person — Walsh — but about issues important to Montanans.

Marcoccio said Democrats will do what they always do in a general election — mount “a massive grass-roots effort” for candidates to talk to voters about critical issues. They include protecting public lands, a woman’s right to health-care choices and keeping good-paying jobs in Montana, she said. 

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