Senate confirms political practices commissioner | Government & Politics

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HELENA — The Montana Senate has confirmed a new commissioner of political practices less than 24 hours after Gov. Steve Bullock appointed him.

Jeff Mangan said before Thursday’s confirmation that he expects to be sworn in by the third week of May.

He will replace Commissioner Jonathan Motl overseeing the state’s campaign, lobbying and ethics laws.

Mangan is a former Democratic lawmaker who lives in Great Falls.

He says he wants to end the perception of partisanship in the commissioner’s office by increasing transparency and accountability.

The Senate voted 48-1 to confirm him less than an hour after a Senate committee questioned him.

Republican Sen. Dee Brown of Hungry Horse calls it “the lightning appointment of all time.”

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3:55 p.m.: The Montana Legislature is fast-tracking a former Democratic lawmaker’s confirmation as the state’s new political practices commissioner.

Jeff Mangan coasted through a brief confirmation hearing on Thursday, and he was expected to win easy approval for a six-year term later in the day on the Senate floor.

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock only announced Mangan’s appointment late Wednesday afternoon. Lawmakers are wrapping up their session and one of their priorities is approving a new commissioner before they adjourn.

Mangan says he will work with outgoing Commissioner Jonathan Motl during a transition period, with plans to take over the office by the third week of May.

Senate President Scott Sales and Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso both praised Mangan. Sesso says that as a former legislator, Mangan is “one of our own.”

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