GREAT FALLS – A state senator convicted of drunken driving said Monday he won’t run to retain his legislative seat or his position on the ruling Blackfeet Tribal Business Council in 2014.
Democratic Sen. Shannon Augare of Browning said in a letter to media organizations that the events of past year have led him to take stock of his life and ask himself, “Why am I running?”
“I am proud of the job I have done and the results delivered,” he wrote. “But none of us are irreplaceable. None of us are indispensable. Those who think otherwise are dangerous.”
Augare did not respond to a call and email from the Associated Press for comment.
Augare pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in November to DUI, reckless driving and obstructing a police officer for fleeing a May 26 traffic stop in which he told a Glacier County sheriff’s deputy he had no jurisdiction on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
He received no jail time and was ordered to pay $1,250 in fines and attend a substance-abuse treatment class.
Augare served two terms in the state House before being elected to the Senate in 2010. His current term ends in January.
Augare listed accomplishments on the tribal council that included opening a new grocery store, a hotel and a water line project on the Blackfeet Reservation.
He has also been involved in a schism between tribal council members that has caused the Blackfeet government to shut down several times since fall.
Augare will remain on the tribal council through June. He said he was “looking forward to private life and managing my businesses.”