Should incumbent Congressman Ryan Zinke be chosen by president-elect Trump to serve as Secretary of the Interior, State Sen. Amanda Curtis from Butte is the first Democrat to express an interest in running for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat.  Curtis told The Gazette on Tuesday that she will seek her party’s nomination when county-level central committee members convene to select a candidate.  That meeting won’t take place unless Zinke is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

 

If Zinke resigns, Montana will have 85 to 100 days to fill the vacancy through special election.  In 2014, with less than two months to campaign as a replacement candidate when Sen. John Walsh withdrew from his bid for U.S. Senate, Curtis went from being a relative unknown to capturing 44 percent of the popular vote.  Democratic candidate Denise Juneau received just 41 percent of the vote in her bid to unseat Zinke this year.