The Montana State Capitol in Helena (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan).
The Montana Democratic Party has hired former Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Sheila Hogan as its executive director, the party announced Monday.
Hogan’s pick fills the vacancy created by the departure of labor organizer Sandi Luckey as party director during the summer. Legislator Moffie Funk had been serving in an interim role since.
Hogan was appointed to DPHHS by Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock, overseeing the state’s largest agency during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. She transitioned to a policy role in the state Department of Administration not long after the election of Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican.
“I’ve spent my career fighting for opportunity for all Montanans, and I’m excited to be starting a new chapter in that fight here at the Montana Democratic Party,” Hogan said in a statement Monday.
Her hiring comes at a time of transition for the party: Montana Democrats were routed in every statewide race in 2020, and saw their position in the Legislature slip even further. However, recent decennial Census results led to the state gaining a second congressional seat, one that Democrats hope could be winnable for the beleaguered party, depending on the configuration of the district map. Three Democrats – Laurie Bishop, Cora Neumann and Monica Tranel – have launched campaigns so far.
“We have a lot of work to do to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, and I can’t wait to get started,” Hogan said.
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