Wicks tapped to fill vacant Sweeney Senate seat; Mullen to be Democrat nominee in fall

MIKE SMITH

Commissioners from four counties filled the District 39 Montana Senate seat left vacant with the recent death of Democrat Mark Sweeney of Philipsburg, appointing Teamsters business agent Jessica Wicks of Anaconda on Tuesday.

Wicks will serve the district for the next several months but fellow Democrat Jesse Mullen of Deer Lodge, a newspaper owner and manager, will be the party’s nominee in the November election. Republicans plan to gather soon to choose their nominee.

The next legislative session won’t be until early next year but committees meet in the interim and Wicks plans to be involved in them and be accessible to constituents.

“Mark served on the Business and Labor Committee, on Energy and on Education, so my focus will probably be on those areas,” she told The Montana Standard after her appointment. “If there’s something else I can to do help with Montana State Hospital and the prison I will definitely try to turn my focus there.”

Sweeney was elected to the seat in 2020 but died unexpectedly at his home in Philipsburg on May 6. He was running for the Democratic nomination to the eastern U.S. House seat now held by Republican Matt Rosendale. Penny Ronning won the Democratic

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