Big Sky Roundup

Political leaders in Montana mourn loss of longtime Butte public servant

By: - September 23, 2022 12:45 pm

Art Noonan (courtesy of the Montana Legislature)

Politicians in Montana issued condolences after the loss earlier this week of former lawmaker, executive director for the Montana Democratic Party and 2022 legislative candidate Art Noonan.

Noonan died of a heart attack at 70 years old, according to reporting from the Montana Free Press.

“Susan and I join the family, friends, and community of Butte in mourning the passing of Art Noonan, a public servant and community leader,” said Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte in a statement.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Democrat and senior member of the state’s congressional delegation, said Noonan was a “good man and a great public servant.”

“He loved Montana and always worked hard to make it a better place,” Tester said.

Noonan was running to again represent Butte in the Montana Legislature as the Democratic candidate in the House District 73 race. Ballots will be reprinted with the name of the new candidate, who will be selected in the coming days, according to the Montana Standard.

Democratic candidate for Congress in Montana’s eastern district Penny Ronning said in a Facebook post that Noonan’s passing was heartbreaking and described an interaction she had with him this past summer.

“Sitting next to Art as he shared his love for Butte, the love for his family’s history, and his ever present passion for humanity was both a lesson about Montana and like wining the golden ticket to an All-Star Comedy Show,” Ronning wrote. “Art’s humor blended with his extraordinary intelligence brought pure joy to that moment in time.”

Republican Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said Noonan was a strong advocate for individuals of various abilities.

“I appreciate his service to Montana and his voice in state government. My prayers are with his family, friends and community,” Arntzen said.

In a statement this week, Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Sheila Hogan said Noonan “weathered storms and sea change, never wavering in his resolve to fight for the dignity of working Montanans and families.”

“Art Noonan lived a life of public service, serving the people of Butte and his home state for forty years,” Hogan said. “Art was a born leader and spent a lifetime devoted to working for Montana on both the national and state level.”

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