The Montana Capitol in Helena (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan).
Senate President Mark Blasdel said he would like to present Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte with nominees for Commissioner of Political Practices before the 2023 Montana Legislature.
Commissioner Jeff Mangan will complete his term on Dec. 30, 2022.
Tuesday in a Legislative Council meeting, Blasdel said he would like the application process to open in the next week or so, ideally to have a new commissioner start as soon as Mangan completes his term.
At the meeting, Blasdel shared the process for submitting nominees to the governor along with commissioner qualifications. He said a committee will evaluate applications to present the governor with at least two but no more than five possible names.
If the nominating committee fails to send the governor names, the governor may appoint anyone who meets the qualifications spelled out in Montana law.
The Commissioner of Political Practices’ website notes the office was created in 1975 “to protect and ensure the integrity of campaigns, politics and government in Montana.”
Blasdel noted the nominating committee is made up of the speaker of the house, president of the senate, and minority leaders of both chambers.
The commissioner will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Republicans control the House and the Senate and earned a supermajority in last week’s election.
On Oct. 3, Mangan submitted a letter of resignation effective Nov. 6, but he subsequently agreed to serve through the end of the year after receiving numerous requests to complete his term, including one from the governor, according to his resignation letter and a follow up note.
Mangan’s resignation letter noted he had provided the Governor’s Office all guidance it had requested over the past few months as it explored “possible changes to the office and potential candidate qualifications for the upcoming appointment process.”
Montana law allows for officials who serve as commissioner to do so for one six-year term without reappointment.
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