Understanding that our City elections are indeed extremely important to the business community, and in particular, to the members of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce the endorsement of the top “pro-business” candidates identified through the chamber’s scoring process.

The endorsement is meant to inform the chamber’s membership and interested citizens on whether a candidate complements or conflicts with the Helena Chamber’s business priorities. We want to note: the lack of endorsement of some candidates in no way reflects on those candidates’ character or skills, but rather their alignment with Chamber priorities and demonstration of well-thought-out solutions for issues facing Helena businesses.

The Helena Chamber would like to thank all of the candidates for submitting their questionnaire responses. More importantly, we thank all of the candidates for submitting their names into the ring of public opinion and running for elected office, an often thankless, although very critical job.

The process the chamber used to assess and select our endorsed candidates involved sending each candidate a questionnaire that asked for a brief bio and their thoughts/position on such issues as tax abatements, tax increment financing (TIF) districts, minimum/livable wage ordinances, areas of city government needing improvement or change, and agenda items the candidate would like to see accomplished during their term. All candidates except for one returned the questionnaire.

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee members then assessed/scored the responses and made their recommendation to the Chamber Board. The Chamber Board has accepted their recommendations and are pleased to announce endorsements for the highest scoring pro-business candidates as follows:

Jim Smith for re-election as Helena’s Mayor

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Sean Logan and Mark Burzynski for the two open seats on the City Commission.

Most importantly, we hope all eligible Helena voters will be sure to vote in the November election!

Cathy Burwell is the president and CEO of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.

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