Five days after the Democratic candidate for governor died of a heart attack on the campaign trail, state party leaders on Monday elevated his running mate to the No. 1 spot on the ticket.
State Sen. Judy Jacobson, 57, will replace Chet Blaylock in the Nov. 5 election.
The unanimous decision puts Jacobson in the unusual, but legal, position of running for both governor and lieutenant governor. If elected, she would serve as governor and name an appointment to the No. 2 spot.
Her victory would be a long shot at best, with polls consistently giving Gov. Marc Racicot, the Republican incumbent, a huge lead.
Blaylock, 71, a former state senator and retired teacher who had a history of heart trouble and cancer, was stricken while driving to a debate against Racicot last Wednesday.
Jacobson, a legislator from Butte, was chosen by party leaders at a 20-minute convention of the Democratic Party’s central committee on Monday. LeRoy Not Afraid, a lieutenant governor candidate who lost by a landslide in the primary, was the only other contender.
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