Hill picks Sonju as running mate

Print Article

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill and his running mate Jon Sonju talk with Larry Viano of Kalispell on Wednesday morning at the Sassafras Ballroom in Kalispell.

Rick Hill, former Montana congressman and current Republican gubernatorial candidate, has tapped into the Flathead Valley, naming state Sen. Jon Sonju of Kalispell as his running mate Wednesday.

Hill, widely regarded as a frontrunner among eight candidates in the Republican primary race, told a gathering of supporters in Kalispell that he envisions Sonju playing a substantive role as lieutenant governor.

He later acknowledged the importance of having a running mate from the Flathead’s Republican bastion.

“Obviously, politically, this is an important area,” Hill said. But he added that Sonju was the pick because “he brings a lot of important qualities to the job. I need someone to do heavy lifting.”

Hill cited Sonju’s experience in business and working with the Legislature, as well as Sonju’s efforts as chairman of an interim committee that is exploring ways to improve efficiencies in government.

Sonju, a 36-year-old business development manager for his family’s business, Sonju Industrial, said he intends to make a mark with government reform and selling the state.

“Basically, I want to be Montana’s salesman,” said Sonju, who has served in the Legislature since 2004. “I want to sell Montana’s business not only nationally but worldwide.”

Sonju and Hill said they expect the work of the bipartisan Committee on Government Efficiency to yield improvements and efficiencies in state government.

“Rick and I know that the economic problems faced by our state won’t be solved by more government mandates coming from Helena — the real problem-solvers are the thousands of small business owners that are the true economic engine of the state,” Sonju said. “We need to manage a state government we can afford. It’s time Helena understands it’s not their money — it’s your money.”

State Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, was among several Republican legislators on hand for the announcement with praise for Sonju’s selection.

“Jon’s our homegrown boy, our homegrown senator,” Tutvedt said. “I think he’ll bring a lot of energy to this.”

Sonju is the third person from the Flathead to be picked as a lieutenant governor candidate for the 2012 elections.

State Sen. Ryan Zinke, R-Whitefish, is the running mate for Republican Neil Livingstone of Helena. Republican Bob Fanning of Pray selected Flathead resident Chuck Baldwin as his running mate.

Sonju and Hill were scheduled to travel to Helena and Bozeman this week for more campaign events.

“I’m going to be a constant campaigner. I’m all in,” said Sonju, who lives in Kalispell with his wife, Tania, and their two young sons.

Reporter Jim Mann may be reached at 758-4407 or by email at jmann@dailyinterlake.com.

Print Article

Read More Local News

World War II navigator to be honored during special ceremony

May 27, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake A Eureka-area veteran who flew 28 bombing missions as a navigator during World War II will be honored during a special Memorial Day flag-raising ceremony at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kal...

Comments

Read More

‘Hamburglar’ posse strikes Evergreen drive-thru

May 26, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Daily Inter Lake A group of belligerent people reportedly stole a woman’s food in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant in Evergreen, according to a Flathead Sheriff’s report. The people were allegedly calling the...

Comments

Read More

Bigfork hosts motorcycle memorial ride, poker run

May 26, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Daily Inter Lake Today, Bigfork is expecting more than 100 people on motorcycles to roll through town as a tribute to friends lost in a car crash and as a reason to fundraise for local veterans. It’s the 8th annual...

Comments

Read More

Flathead Forest opens all campgrounds

May 26, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Daily Inter Lake All Flathead National Forest campgrounds are scheduled to be open by the Memorial Day weekend. Holland Lake, Swan Lake, Emery Bay, Murray Bay, Devil Creek, Lid Creek, Lost Johnny Camp and Lost Joh...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X