Lewis & Clark County Democrats announce candidates to replace Eck on HD 79 ballot

Posted at 7:24 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 21:24:36-04


(UPDATE, July 2, 7 p.m.)  Six candidates remain in the race to replace State Rep. Jenny Eck on the November ballot, after Tyrel Suzor-Hoy announced he is no longer pursuing the Democratic nomination for House District 79.

The Lewis and Clark County Democratic Central Committee will choose a new nominee on July 17.

In a Facebook post, Suzor-Hoy thanked his supporters but said the position should go to someone with more experience in the legislative process. He endorsed former State Sen. Christine Kaufmann, a longtime legislator, for the nomination.

Original post below:

HELENA – On Friday, leaders with the Lewis and Clark County Democratic Party finalized the list of candidates to replace State Rep. Jenny Eck on the November ballot.

Seven candidates announced they were interested in the Democratic nomination for Helena’s House District 79:

  • Rob Farris-Olsen
  • Eddie Greiberis
  • Jenifer Gursky
  • Christine Kaufmann
  • Jill Steeley
  • Tyrel Suzor-Hoy
  • Kelli Twoteeth

29 members of the county Democratic central committee will choose the new nominee during a meeting next month.

“I’m encouraged not only by the fact that we have a slate of seven to choose from, but also that we have a wide array of candidates to choose from and some really qualified candidates,” said Sandi Luckey, chair of the central committee. “It’s exciting.”

Eck, the House minority leader, announced last week that she would withdraw from the HD 79 race to take a job as executive director of the Friendship Center, a nonprofit that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

No other candidate had filed to run against Eck. That means whoever is chosen as the Democratic nominee will be the next representative for HD 79, which covers neighborhoods on Helena’s west side.

“I believe that we’re all feeling the significance of our decision: that the decision that we make not only impacts the people that live in this district and who represents them, but it really has a statewide impact,” Luckey said. “I think we’re all really conscious of that.”

Luckey said, if anyone wants to make a comment on the selection, they can use the submission form on the party website. The messages will be seen by all voting delegates.

The Lewis and Clark County Democratic Central Committee will hold their vote Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. in the commission chambers at the City-County Building in Helena.

All declared candidates will need to receive a nomination and a second from committee members, or they will be eliminated. A candidate will have to receive a majority of the committee’s votes to win. If no one receives a majority on the first ballot, the candidate or candidates with the fewest votes will be eliminated and the process will continue.