An enduring bond: Childhood friends clear obstacles to work legislative session

Phil Drake

Sen. Walt Sales wasted no time Thursday getting the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee that he chairs down to business.

“Secretary Racicot, would you please take roll?” the Manhattan Republican asked.

“Thank you, chair,” Jack Racicot said.

And with that, Jack read the names of 12 committee members, and the meeting kicked into gear.

Granted, it’s not a big deal in the overall scheme of a legislative session.

But for Jack it was a milestone as the 24-year-old quadriplegic who now uses a wheelchair made his return to the Capitol’s Senate staff after a Feb. 16, 2019 snowboarding accident at Great Divide Ski Area, when he smashed his C5 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the neck down.

It occurred a few weeks after the start of the 2019 session, where he had served as a secretary to the Senate Local Government and Agriculture Committee under Sen. Brian Hoven, R-Great Falls, and Sen. Mike Lang, R-Malta.

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Witt Williams, who has been deaf since birth, is working for Senate Republican leadership.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

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