Four Democrats will face off to replace Rep. Zac Perry

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Zac Perry

Four Democrats have thrown their hat in the proverbial ring to replace House District 3 candidate Zac Perry, who resigned in September to further his college education.

The candidates are Debo Powers of the North Fork, Jill Rocksund of Columbia Falls, Gene Marcille of Columbia Falls and Shelby Handlin Hampton of West Glacier.

Rocksund is currently the school District 6 board chairman and Marcille is a longtime English teacher and coach at Columbia Falls High School. Handlin Hampton is the co-owner of Glacier Outfitters, an equipment and bike rental company. Powers is a writer for the North Fork News and President of the North Fork Preservation Association.

Montana law requires that in case of a vacancy during a legislator’s term, the seat must be kept in the hands of the party occupying it at the time, and spells out the process and timeline. Montana Democratic Party rules apply as well.

A questionnaire was sent to the four candidates and was due Tuesday. The completed questionnaires will then be sent to the voting delegates to prepare them for the vote on Oct. 15. Voting delegates include the party’s precinct leaders and officers.

The Oct. 15 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Kalispell VFW, Post #2252, 330 1st Ave W, community room. Time will be set aside for speeches and a question and answer session. Any Flathead Democrats who wish to attend are welcome to do so, though only precinct leaders and officers have voting privileges.

The party will then select three names to send on to the Flathead County Commissioners, who will then make the final appointment, noted committee chair Lynn Stanley.

Community members in Columbia Falls, the Canyon and North Fork, are welcome to email their comments on the candidates to the party at flatheaddemocrat@gmail.com.

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