After a 25 year career in publishing and running a newspaper, as well as being a successful software developer, Todd Mowbray of Missoula has been selected by the Missoula County Commissioners to fill the unexpired term of Nancy Wilson, in House District 97.

The appointment comes after Representative Nancy Wilson resigned her seat effective December 31, 2013. In accordance with Montana Code, the Democratic Central Committee in Missoula County had 45 days from receipt of the notification of vacancy to present the names of three eligible candidates to fill the position. The County Commissioners interviewed each candidate and unanimously selected Mr. Mowbray.

Mowbray said on Thursday, January 30, that his strong and varied business background will help him in representing his district.

"While I believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party, I also have a strong business background," Mowbray said. "I've worked in the woods as a logger, a fry cook, and a lumber truck driver. In my newspaper business, I employed 50 people, and we ran it as a consensus operation, so to me, consensus is what it's all about."

Mowbray's term will not extend into the next legislative session in 2015, however he was unwilling to commit to running for the office at this time.

"In the interim, constituency services and issue advocacy are still important," Mowbray said. "If there were, say, a special session of the legislature, my consensus building skills would help to understand the other person's position."

Mowbray said he would wholeheartedly approve of a special session to address the issue of expanding Medicaid to thousands more eligible Montanans.

"We're a community," he said. "We're large in area, but not in population, and communities take care of their own. Especially since the federal government will be pretty much funding the entire bill, but to fret continuously over what might happen 10, 15, or even 20 years in the future is not really very productive, because nobody knows the future, and we have to deal with the now."

Mowbray, reached by telephone in Seattle, said he's ready to engage with the residents of House District 97 right away.

"I'm ready to answer the phone day or night," he said.

House District 97 Representative Todd Mowbray