Posted: May 2, 2013 8:15 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Montana's legislative leaders will be narrowing down the list of candidates to determine who will be chosen as the state's next Commissioner of Political Practices.
The group will meet Friday morning to consider the 11 applicants who have submitted their resumes.
The committee is made up of Senate President Jeff Essmann (R), Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel (R) Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso (D), and House Minority Leader Chuck Hunter (D). The committee will choose two to five names to send to the Governor.
Then Governor Steve Bullock (D) can choose who to appoint.
The Commissioner of Political Practices investigates alleged violations of election laws and enforces campaign finance rules. The position has historically been politically controversial as each party tries to appoint someone with partisan leanings.
The position was left vacant after current Commissioner Jim Murry resigned in March this year. Murry was appointed by Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) in 2012, to replace Dave Gallik when Gallik resigned after staff accused him of conducting personal business using state resources.
The position pays about $58,000 a year.
Here is the list of candidates, according to the Montana Legislature website:
- Robert Hoffman, Helena, MT. Currently the President and Co-Owner of Valor Infinity Studios, former investigator for former Commissioner Unsworth.
- James Ashmore, Helena, MT. Currently in the Information Systems Security Office of the Department of Administration, and experience working on the COPP information technology systems.
- Debra Brown, Winston, MT. Currently Treasurer of the Montana Republican Party with prior work experience in retail, construction, service, publishing, real estate, technology, and politics.
- Russ Hart, Missoula, MT. Currently Hearing Officer with the Missoula Housing Authority and is an Attorney.
- Gary D. Moseman, Great Falls, MT. Retired after 40-year career as reporter and editor in Montana. Most recently, Managing Editor of the Great Falls Tribune.
- Joel G. Krautter, Missoula, MT. Law student. Most recently, Civil Division Legal Intern with the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office. (JD anticipated May 2014.) Also interned with Senator Baucus and MT Department of Transportation.
- Ellen Bush, Helena, MT. Secretary for House Business and Labor Committee. Past Executive Director of CASA of Montana, Inc.
- Dan Ritter, Lakeside, MT. Sergeant-At-Arms, Montana State Senate. Realtor Sales Associate, Trails West Real Estate in Lakeside.
- Jonathan Motl, Helena, MT. Attorney in private practice, with experience in campaign practices, ballot, and election litigation.
- Colleen Urquhart-Fillner, Helena, MT. Experience in campaign and former staffer for Governor Racicot.
- Jeffrey A. Barber, Helena, MT. Most recently Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy.