Who chooses Walsh's successor?

2014-08-11T18:45:00Z 2014-08-15T16:44:06Z Who chooses Walsh's successor?Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette
August 11, 2014 6:45 pm  • 

HELENA — As many as 154 Democratic Party delegates, from elected officials to local party chairs, can vote Saturday on who will replace Sen. John Walsh on the U.S. Senate ballot in November — but only if they register for the nominating convention in Helena.

The potential delegates have until 7 p.m. on Thursday to register. They also must be at the Saturday convention to vote, said party spokesman Bryan Watt.

The convention convenes at 9 a.m. at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena.

Potential delegates include the party’s 32-member Executive Board, which is composed of top elected officials and party staffers and officials, the heads of party “chartered organizations,” such as the College Democrats, and county central committee chairs, vice chairs and committee men and women.

The local party officials are from 33 counties. Not all of Montana’s 56 counties have a Democratic central committee.

Only delegates can nominate candidates Saturday, after which the nominees will speak to the convention. The winner will be the nominee who gets both the most votes and more than 50 percent of the vote.

If a nominee doesn’t get more than 50 percent on the first vote, the candidate with the lowest vote total will be dropped from the ballot and another vote will be held.

The winner must register with the secretary of state as a candidate by Aug. 20 and pay the $1,740 filing fee.

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