This year is an election year for Valley County and for the state of Montana. Registration for candidacy opened up last week, starting Thursday, Jan. 9, and will remain open until March 10.
While there might not be huge excitement in this year’s elections, there will be a county commissioner seat up for grabs. Valley County Commissioner Dave Pippin has announced that he will not be rerunning for his position as the commissioner for District 1.
The county treasurer, attorney, sheriff/coroner, justice of the peace and the public administrator have candidates already on the board. As of Friday, Jan. 10, there was no opposition in each case. Brenda Anderson registered for her current position as the county treasurer, Nickolas Murnion as the county attorney, Glen Meier as the sheriff/coroner, David Mclean as the justice of the peace, Lynne Nyquist as the clerk and recorder and Leroy Kountz as the public administrator.
Voters will need to pay attention to newly drawn districts. Every decade the districts are adjusted and redrawn to reflect population shifts. All 100 state House seats are up for election, along with 25 seats out of 50 in the Senate.
Valley County is split in two. The northern half of the county currently holds Mike Lang in the House District 35 and John Brenden, of Scobey, in Senate District 18. Brenden is not up for re-election this year. Lang shares a portion of his district with Phillips County and is up for re-election. A Republican, Lang, of Malta, has filed for a second term in office.
The southern half of Valley County has Clarena Brockie, of Harlem, in the House District 32 seat. Her district covers parts of Blaine, Hill, Phillips and Chouteau counties as well. Brockie’s seat is up for election this year, and no one has currently filed for the position according to the Montana Secretary of State website. Jonathan Windy Boy, of Box Elder, holds the Senate District 16 seat for local voters, sharing with Blaine, Hill, Phillips, Roosevelt and Chouteau counties. Windy Boy is not up for re-election this year.
The public and state government will also look at a position open on the Montana Supreme Court after Brian Morris notified the commission that he had accepted the appointment to the U.S. District Court, District of Montana and resigned his position as Supreme Court justice.
Shirley Ball, of Nashua, sits on the Judicial Nomination Commission. The commission will forward the names of three to five nominees to the governor for appointment after reviewing applications, receiving public comment and interviewing applicants if necessary. Gov. Steve Bullock will appoint the new justice, but that appointee could be subject to the primary and general elections in 2016.