Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Monica Lindeen, a former state auditor, is stepping down after a year on the job, the party announced Monday.
Lindeen, 57, said leaving her post “is the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” but that she wanted to spend less time traveling after 24 years as an elected official and party officer.
State Party Chair Robyn Driscoll said Lindeen would stay on as executive director as the party searches for her replacement, but the end of the year.
Lindeen began the party job this January. She was state auditor/insurance commissioner from 2009-2016 and served in the Legislature as a state representative from 1999-2006 and also ran unsuccessfully for Montana’s congressional seat in 2006.
She ran for secretary of state in 2016 and lost to Republican Corey Stapleton.
“The party and myself will be going full steam ahead toward 2020 between now and the end of the year, and I look forward to handing the steering wheel over to the next executive director,” Lindeen said in a statement.
Driscoll said the party is in strong position going into 2020, building a campaign infrastructure to help elect Democrats from local to statewide races.
Next year will be a big election year for statewide races in Montana.
The governor, attorney general, state auditor, secretary of state and U.S. House seat are open seats; all but one – the governor – are held currently by Republicans.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., also is running for a second term, but Democrats have not fielded a well-known opponent to challenge Daines in 2020. Three Democrats are in the race so far.