NewsMontana Politics


Longtime Butte Democrat Art Noonan has died

Noonan was in the midst of a bid to return to the Legislature next year
art noonan mtn.jpg
Posted at 6:55 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 21:14:25-04

BUTTE — Arthur “Art” Noonan, one-time executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, former lawmaker, and 2022 legislative candidate, died this week of a heart attack, his nephew, the former legislator Pat Noonan, said. He was 70.

Noonan was still active in politics at the time of his passing. He presided over a policy committee at the recent state party platform convention, and was in the midst of a run to represent House District 73, the seat currently held by the retiring Jim Keane, another titan in Butte Democratic Politics.

“His breadth of knowledge of Montana politics and his love of Butte was just fantastic,” Keane told Montana Free Press Thursday. “He was really looking forward to going back to the House, and it’s just so sad that he won’t be able to.”

The Butte-Silver Bow County Democratic Central Committee will meet Sunday to select a replacement for Noonan in the race, committee chair Faith Scow told MTFP. The Republican candidate is Jason Freeman.

The Montana secretary of state’s office was informed of Noonan’s death on Wednesday. Pursuant to statute, the replacement candidate must file with the office by 5 p.m. on Monday, September 26, spokesperson Richie Melby said.

“Art’s passing is extremely tragic and has left a huge hole in the Butte community,” Scow said in an email. “Art was extremely passionate and loved getting young people excited about the government. He was a larger-than-life figure and is deeply missed.”

“Art was very articulate, that’s one of the main things,” Keane said. “When you had a conversation with Art, you better have had a little time on your hands.”


Story courtesy of Montana Free Press