The executive board of the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee has named three candidates to fill the vacated House District 50 seat.
The position was left empty by Mallerie Stromswold who resigned recently citing mental health, her current enrollment at Montana State University, and pressure from her caucus to vote the party platform.
The board requested emails of interest and sent out questionnaires to 19 interested individuals.
Ten responses were received by the deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. The submissions were reviewed by the executive board and on Jan. 19, the five top candidates were interviewed in 30-minute Zoom sessions. On Friday, the board met in Zoom session and narrowed the selection to three individuals.
Each of the candidates recognize that crime is the number-one issue in our community. This board will encourage an investment in more beds in the state prison and local jail as part of the solution to making our city and county a safer place.
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The candidates include:
— Naarah N. Hastings, a small business owner. She and her husband own Proof Donuts in Billings. She is also the founder of a talent acquisition firm, 6H Talent, Inc. Hastings is a wife and mother of four and is a champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor.
— Anthony Nicastro, a civil attorney and managing partner of Knight, Nicastro and McKay. Nicastro is a husband and father of three. He has assisted with political campaigns and served in Congress as an intern and worked for the Republican Senatorial Committee.
— Denis Pitman, who served on the Billings City Council and the Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners. Pitman is a small businessman and entrepreneur. He is a licensed mortician, property owner, manages commercial and residential properties, and is a licensed Realtor. He lost his seat on the commission in the most recent primary election to Mark Morse.