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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

State Sen. Terry Gauthier announces his resignation

Terry Gauthier
Montana State Legislature
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Terry Gauthier

A state Senator from Helena is resigning his seat with plans of going on a motorcycle tour.

Republican Sen. Terry Gauthier notified the Montana Secretary of State’s office Monday of his resignation, saying he has conflicting plans that will prevent him from attending the next 90-day legislative session, which begins in January. Gauthier was first elected to the statehouse in 2016 and again in 2020.

The Helena Independent Record first reported he’ll be taking a 20-country motorcycle tour starting in March.

The Lewis and Clark and Powell county commissioners will select the candidate to replace Gauthier from up to three nominees put forward by the local Republican central committees.

Darin Gaub, chair of the Lewis and Clark central committee, said party officials will be looking for someone who can fill Gauthier’s shoes.

“We want someone who will represent everyone across that Senate district with that same passion, that same knowledge and dedication to the job,” said Gaub.

Once the central committees receive official notification from the state GOP, they have 45 days to nominate candidates. County commissioners in both counties then have 15 days to vote and select a new senator.

Gaub says he hopes the process will go quickly so the seat is filled before the start of the next legislative session on January 2.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.