Two Incumbent Legislators Withdraw Names From November Ballot

Jun 19, 2018

House Minority Leader Jenny Eck of Helena and Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso of Butte in this file photo from the 2017 Montana Legislature.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

House Minority Leader Jenny Eck of Helena is the latest legislator to withdraw her name from November’s general election ballot. Late last week, State Representative Jon Knokey told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle he also will withdraw his name from the November ballot. 

Eck said representing House District 79, Helena’s west side, has been a privilege and the decision came after much soul searching.

She said she even considered stepping down as leader of the House Democrats, but in the end it came down to career and family. Eck is the new executive director of the Friendship Center, a local organization that helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I talked to my family about it for a long time and probably the biggest consideration was if I tried to do it all, I would not be there for them and my kids and that’s just not an option,” she said.

Eck said she will serve out her current term, which ends at the end of 2018, finishing her third term in the House.

State Representative Jon Knokey shares a moment with his daughter at his desk on the House floor shortly after being sworn in at the 2017 Montana Legislature.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

Knokey, a first term Republican from Bozeman representing House District 65, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle his challenge was putting career and family on hold for 4 months. The Montana Legislature meets every other year in regular session for 90-days.

Once each candidate formally notifies the Montana Secretary of State, the respective party central committees will appoint a replacement candidate.

Eck did not have a Republican opponent in November.  Knokey was to face off against former Democratic state Representative Chris Pope of Bozeman.