Longtime Butte Democrat Art Noonan dies; was running for Montana House seat

MIKE SMITH

Art Noonan, a longtime Butte Democrat and a former executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, has died. He was 70.

Noonan died this week, only six weeks before voters could have sent him back to the Montana Legislature representing the House District 73 seat now held by Democrat Jim Keane, who isn’t seeking re-election after serving 23 years in the Legislature.

Noonan faced Republican Jason Freeman of Butte in the Nov. 8 election. Butte-Silver Bow County is a Democrat stronghold in Montana and Noonan spent 40 years in public service, including three terms in the Montana House starting in 2005.

Faith Scow, chair of the Butte-Silver Bow Democratic Central Committee, said Noonan’s passing was a “huge loss for Butte.”

“Art was a larger-than-life figure,” Scow said Thursday. “He was someone who really liked getting people excited about government, especially young people. He was excited to teach them how government works and how important it is.

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“He was just a huge influence in the life of everyone in our Central Committee, so it’s hard,” she said. “He was a really good friend of mine as well, so we’re

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