The Montana Republican Party meets later this month to elect its officers, among them, a party chairman, an office currently held by Will Deschamps of Missoula.

The executive director of the party, Chris Shipp, outlined the choices the party will have at their nominating convention in Helena on June 26 and 27.

"There are three people who have announced so far their intention to run for party chairman," Shipp said. "One is Dan Happel, a former Madison County Commissioner, Jeff Essman, the former Montana Senate President and current state representative, and the current chairman, Will Deschamps, who has been in that position for the last six years."

Shipp said all three candidates bring the ability to lead the party for the next two years.

"All three candidates bring a variety of experience and it's going to be up to our executive committee that consists of four county officers involved in their local Republican party, and then our elected party officials, and they're all looking for a leader who can bring our party forward and give us direction so we can build upon the successes that we had in 2014."

Shipp described the duties the the party chairman.

"He will work with candidates, making sure they have the resources and the infrastructure, doing the behind-the-scenes everyday work that candidates who are just getting started might need to be successful," he said. "Party officials and the executive committee will be looking for a chairman who can do the best job at that."

The party convention will be open to the public and the media.




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