So Jon Sonju is Rick Hill’s running mate. Not much is known about Sonju other than that he is tall, not a bad looking fellow, and is the scion of the Sonju industries family in Kalispell. And that he is a state senator. And, that his company is the largest earmark recipient in Montana.
More interesting than Sonju himself is the choice by Hill. It is designed to get votes from a Republican area of the state, the Flathead Valley, which logically means that Rick Hill is worried about the primary, and especially worried about Flathead Valley resident Ryan Zinke, running mate to candidate extraordinaire Neil Livingstone, and the damage that Zinke could do to the Hill ticket on his home turf.
In fact, at the expense of doubling down on his effort to win the primary, Hill has produced a ticket that has no Agriculture representation, and no Yellowstone County representation. That’s not a balanced ticket, given that Hill is himself a politician, insurance executive, and tit sucker (government tit, that is, which Hill did suck until he’d drank half a million bucks or so of taxpayer money, from sweetheart state contracts from his friend Judy Martz).
Perhaps Hill believes that Sonju takes more votes in the Flathead than Zinke. Certainly the Flathead is a big prize in any GOP primary.
An additional question is whether Max Baucus will weigh in on Sonju’s behalf as he did in Sonju’s last race, when Baucus appeared before cameras at an event at Sonju Industries shortly before the election to deliver a giant federal earmark to senator Sonju for his company.