Montana state Rep. Zac Perry, a Democrat who represents the Hungry Horse area, is resigning his seat because he is enrolling in graduate school and moving out of the state.
Perry was first elected to the state House in 2014 and represented House District 3 in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 legislative sessions. His resignation is effective Sept. 1.
In a message posted to his Facebook page, Perry said "it has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as your representative in the Montana Legislature for three sessions. … I am very appreciative for the support and encouragement as well as the constructive criticism I have received while in office."
In the most recent legislative session, Perry requested a bill that moved regulatory oversight for residential treatment programs for children to the state health department, addressing a longtime shortfall in regulation of the programs.
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Perry said he plans to return to Montana and become a high school government and history teacher.
When there's a vacant seat in the state House, the local county commissioners fill the seat, picking from a list of candidates forwarded by the party of the resigning representative's county central committee. The Secretary of State notifies the commissioners and central committee within seven days of the vacancy. Then the central committee has 45 days to forward a list of candidates to the commissioners, who in turn have 15 days to make their choice.
The House District 3 seat is up for election in 2020 and the replacement selected by the commissioners will serve out the rest of Perry's term, which runs until January 2021 when the next state Legislature convenes.