Process Begins to Fill Vacant Legislative Seat

By Beacon Staff

BUTTE – Local officials hope to fill the legislative seat of state Rep. George Groesbeck as soon as next week. The lawmaker died Sunday of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 38.

David Coleman, chairman of the Butte-Silver Bow Democratic Central Committee, said local precinct committee men and women are set to meet Monday to nominate candidates. Three nominees and three backup candidates then will be given to the Butte-Silver Bow council of commissioners for approval.

Commissioners could choose a candidate to fill Groesbeck’s District 74 seat in the state House when they meet Dec. 17, said Coleman, who also is a commissioner.

“It’s just horrible business to do this. I’m still kind of shocked,” he said. “Butte lost a great son in George and Montana lost a great friend.”

The Central Committee has 45 days under state law to select nominees for a vacated seat in the Legislature, and the council has 10 days to deliberate, fill the position and notify the secretary of state.

The next session of the Montana Legislature convenes Jan. 5.