HELENA – When the Republican National Convention convenes Monday in Tampa, Fla., Montana will have 23 delegates and 23 alternates there – and at least one statewide candidate.
Steve Daines, the Republican candidate for Montana’s U.S. house seat, is one of the evening speakers at the convention on Monday.
However, the state’s other candidate for federal office – U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, who’s challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester – won’t be at the convention.
“Denny is focused on Montana, not on party politics, and he simply feels it’s a bigger priority for him to be here in Montana, where he’ll have a full schedule of campaigning and talking with folks about how we can create jobs and get our economy back on track,” said his campaign spokesman, Chris Bond.
The convention will formally nominate Mitt Romney as the Republicans’ presidential candidate.
Montana delegates will be voting for Romney as a bloc, said Montana Republican Party Executive Director Bowen Greenwood. They were elected as Romney delegates by state delegates at the state GOP convention in June.
Montana’s 23 delegates are: Delegation chair Mark Baker, a Helena attorney; former Gov. Tim Babcock and his wife Betty, of Helena; state Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls, state Reps. Ken Peterson of Billings, Scott Reichner of Bigfork and Matthew Rosendale of Glendive; Lloyd Teigen and Jason Thielman of Helena; Susan Barbisan, Tammy Hall and Karen Pfaehler of Bozeman; John Bennion, Susan Sullivan and Stephen Zabawa of Billings; Jill Reichner and Mark Noland of Bigfork; James Brown of Dillon, Pollann Bruner of Butte, Don Klatschmidt of Whitefish, Susan Muralt of Missoula, Arla Jean Murray of Miles City and Gary Perry of Manhattan.
Montana’s 23 alternate delegates are: State Reps. Joanne Blyton of Red Lodge and Cleve Loney and Jesse O’Hara of Great Falls; Jennifer Baker, Shirley Herrin and Sarah Page of Helena; David Barbisan, John Milanovich and Anita Woudenberg of Bozeman; Sharrie Galt and Konnor Scally of Martinsdale; Matha Aveson of Belgrade; Keith Baer of Missoula, Cyndi Baker of Great Falls, Margaret Bennion of Billings, Debra Brown of Winston, Ronald Fick of Dillon, Linda Loendorf of Polaris, Forrest Mandeville of Columbus, Lilya McAlister of Stevensville, Suzzann Nordwick of Butte, Lisa Perry of Manhattan and Kirk Wagoner of Montana City.
Also attending are Republican National Committee members Will Deschamps of Missoula, the chairman of the state Republican Party; Betti Hill of Helena and Errol Galt of Martinsdale.