By Michael Howell
The Ravalli County Republican Central Committee Executive Board has come up with a process for individuals wishing to be considered for replacing Matt Kanenwisher as County Commissioner from District 4.
Kanenwisher recently announced that he would be resigning in late May or June to pursue his career as a cardiac nurse in Utah. Kanenwisher in fact has already accepted employment at a hospital in Salt Lake City. As a result, he said last week, he will be missing nine days of work here as commissioner in the month of May in order to meet his new job obligations there. He said he plans at this point to resign on May 31, or in the first week of June so that the local Republican Central Committee could select three candidates for his replacement at its June meeting. Otherwise, he said, it wouldn’t happen until their July meeting.
“At this point,” he said, “with missing so many days, it doesn’t make much sense for this to go on any longer than it has to.”
The County Commissioners will appoint a replacement to temporarily serve in Kanenwisher’s seat till the November elections. The Republican Central Committee will submit three names from which the commissioners will pick a replacement. If none are accepted, the committee will nominate three more and the commissioners will pick one of the six nominations.
According to Republican Central Committee First Vice Chair Lilya McAlister, the plan was to use the Republican Event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the First Interstate Building at the Fairgrounds, as a venue for “unveiling” potential replacement candidates. Then committee members would have four weeks to vet the candidates before choosing three names to forward to the commissioners at their June meeting.
The May 15 meeting, called a Republican Event, is shaping up to be a major election campaign kick-off event. Republican candidates for virtually every office in the county and the state are scheduled to attend.
“Ultimately the decision will be the Central Committee’s to make to send three names to the Commissioners to choose from and to send one name be put on the November Ballot as the Republican nominee,” said McAlister. “We figured the best place to have the first ‘unveiling’ of the candidates would be at our May 15th event. This would get us (and hopefully 1000 other voters) a good look at how the candidates do in a group speaking environment. Our Central Committee members would then have roughly four week to personally vet the candidates until our June Central Committee meeting at which time the CC members would get to ask questions and possibly nominate the name(s) of the replacement(s). ”