Farris-Olsen to step down as Helena commissioner, replace Eck on November ballot

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 11:19:13-04

HELENA – Lewis and Clark County Democrats selected Rob Farris-Olsen Tuesday night as the replacement for democrat Jenny Eck in the Montana House of Representatives District 79, covering the west side of Helena.

Eck would have been entering her fourth term representing the district, but announced in June she was withdrawing from the race to focus on her new position as executive director of the Friendship Center in Helena. Farris-Olsen will become the next representative in HD 79 as no other candidates are in the race this year.

Before Tuesday’s vote, Farris-Olsen said he has the experiences necessarily to effectively lead his district.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do. I’ve got the skill set as a lawyer and advocate to be an effective legislator… I can also use these experiences to reach across the aisle and discuss what is actually happening on the ground in these particular areas,” Farris-Olsen said.

Farris-Olsen currently serves as a Helena city commissioner. He plans to resign from that post at a later date to assume his legislative responsibilities.

Originally, seven candidates were vying for the HD 79 seat. However, Tyrel Suzor-Hoy, Eddie Greberis and Christine Kaufmann all dropped out prior to voting Tuesday.