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Missoula Dem Bryce Bennett resigns state senate seat
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Missoula Dem Bryce Bennett resigns state senate seat

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Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula

Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula

Montana state Sen. Bryce Bennett, a Democrat from Missoula, is resigning his legislative seat to take a job with a national group that works helping voters learn how to cast their ballots early.

Bennett was first elected to the state Legislature at 25 and served in the state House from 2011 to 2019 before being elected to the state Senate in 2018. In 2020 he ran for Secretary of State, losing to Republican Christi Jacobsen.

His resignation is effective Aug. 2.

“I am beyond grateful for the trust Missoulians have given me to serve you for 10 years in the Montana Legislature, '' Bennett said in a press release. “Despite the immense challenges we have faced, I have always loved this work because it matters. Whether it was leading the charge for voting rights, standing up for LGBTQ+ equality or defending so much of what makes Montana special, it’s been an honor to be in the arena for our values.”

Bennett was the first openly gay man to serve in the state Legislature. He focused on bills related to elections and voting access, as well as the role of money in state politics. He also spoke out against legislation advocates said would harm LGBTQ+ Montanans.

Bennett's new job is project director for Vote Early Day in Washington, D.C. It's an organization that works to help people learn about opportunities to cast their ballots before election day.

Bennett's term runs until January 2023. The Missoula County Democratic Central Committee will select three replacement options and forward that list to the Missoula Board of County Commissioners, which picks Bennett's replacement.

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