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Montana Republicans and Democrats Pick Legislative Leaders

Mt Capitol
Photo courtesy of Jesse Michael Nix/Flickr

Montana’s newly minted legislators received their first day of training in Helena on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Director of the legislative services division Susan Byroth Fox opened the training by outlining the basic rolls of Montana’s three branches of government and how her division helps them all work together.

“The people conducting the training are all state employees” explained Byroth Fox,  “but we’re state employees of the legislative branch and sometimes people get us confused that way.  All of the staff is non-partisan we work for both chambers, both houses and sometimes it’s hard for partisans to understand non-partisans.”

Montana’s Republican and Democratic legislators also chose their leaders for the next legislative session on Wednesday. Paving the way for big decisions on the State budget, water rights, and a host of other hot-button issues.

Former Senate Majority leader Jeff Essmann was chosen by fellow republicans to be the President of the Senate

Sen. Art Wittich will replace Essmann as majority leader and Sen. Debbie Barrett will serve as the new Senate pro tempore.

Democrats named Sen. Jon Sesso as Senate minority leader.

For State House, Republicans chose Rep. Mark Blasdel as party leader while naming Rep. Gordon Vance as majority leader and Austin Knudsen as speaker pro tempore

Democrats chose Rep. Chuck Hunter as minority leader while Rep. Edith McClafferty and Rep. Margaret MacDonald will serve as minority whips.


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