Saturday, November 17, 2018

Brophy’s commission bid a bust

Judge rules residency requirement constitutional

Cliff Brophy will not be allowed to run for the office of District 3 Stillwater County Commissioner, a district judge ruled Thursday.
In an 8-page ruling issued on April 19, District Judge Randal Spaulding rejected Brophy's argument that he should be allowed to run for commissioner despite the fact that he has not lived in District 3 for the required two-year time period.
Brophy was asking Spaulding to find the residential requirement unconstitutional, as it specifically applied to him. Brophy contended his 37 years of public service in law enforcement had accomplished what that time requirement is designed to provide -- to ensure the candidate is familiar with his or her constituency, that voters have been thoroughly exposed to the candidate and to prevent "political carpetbagging."
"It is not appropriate for this Court to engage in individual, candidate-by-candidate factfinding as to whether the above referenced state interests are, or are not, implicated with respect to specific would-be candidates such as Mr. Brophy," wrote Spaulding in his ruling.
Brophy told the News that while he is disappointed with the decision, he has great respect for Spaulding and believes the judge acted “in the best interest of the state of Montana and the voters.” Brophy also said he knows and respects the remaining three commission candidates and believes “the county will be well served” by anyone one of them.
Those candidates are Erv Hossfeld, Tyrel Hamilton and Al Nordahl.
Check next week's News for a complete story.