At a Wednesday morning gathering attended by prominent Flathead business officials and legislators in downtown Kalispell, Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Rick Hill introduced state Sen. Jon Sonju as his lieutenant governor running mate.
What’s interesting about this announcement is not the selection of the person (it comes as little surprise), but the intent of the selection:
If he were to win November’s election, Hill made clear he expects Sonju to play a more active role in the governor’s office than is usually perceived of lieutenant governors. Hill said he would put Sonju in control of the governor’s economic development office, a move that he acknowledged was unusual.
Sonju is a businessman, plain and simple. Hill is clearly signaling that his campaign is going to be all “pro-business” and all “job creation” – again, not much of a surprise. Whether the policies he would try to implement as Governor would actually work is another matter altogether (FYI, they wouldn’t).
Sonju also has a relatively young look about him – something I doubt was an accident when Hill was selecting his running mate.