Independent Record primary candidate surveys: Legislative races

Independent Record primary candidate surveys: Legislative races

From the Independent Record primary candidate surveys series
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SENATE DISTRICT 10

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Jeni Dodd, Republican

Age: We don’t ask that of job applicants; why should we ask that of candidates for office?

Address: PO Box 6373, Great Falls, MT 59406

Contact info: vote@jenidodd.org

Education: Bachelor’s, MSU Billings, emphasis in Public Relations and Communications

Occupation:

Current-Independent Contractor/Business Owner

Previous-Natural Resources Technician, Print Journalist

Relevant experience:

Experienced community activist, researcher and communicator

Why are you running for this office?

I decided to challenge the incumbent Republican Fitzpatrick in the primary for Senate District 10 because I think it is important to give the voters of my district the choice of a candidate that represents true Republican values—including, but not limited to—limited size and scope of government, a system of government based on the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Montana, defense of inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State Of Montana; protection of private property rights and the sanctity of human life. There are some Montana Republicans, as evidenced by their voting record, that don’t appear aligned with the values reflected in the platform adopted by the Montana GOP. Some of them belong to the newly rebranded Conservative Solutions Caucus (formerly Solutions Caucus) but are neither conservative, nor offer real solutions. It is not a “solution” to vote against the very values you claim to represent. I’m running as a Republican because I share our party platform values and will uphold them.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Legislation that would reduce government overreach, particularly that which affects small businesses and independent contractors. Protect and defend our inalienable rights by voting against bills that would attempt to infringe upon those rights and supporting legislation that reinforces those rights. Find ways to reduce the tax burden on Montana residents. Provide for private property rights protections, including protections from regulatory takings such as unreasonable restrictions and ordinances. Examine what is and isn’t working well for our state and push for change, particularly if it would result in decreased spending of taxpayer money.

Why should people vote for you?

If the values expressed in the Montana GOP platform are important to you, you should vote for me. If limited, accountable and responsive government is important to you, you should vote for me. If protection of our rights and freedoms, guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State Of Montana are important to you, you should vote for me.

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Steve Fitzpatrick, Republican

AgeNot provided

Address: 3203 15th Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 59405

Contact info: fitzpatricks@bresnan.net; 406-750-6764

Education: Helena High School (1997); Montana State University, B.S. in Biological Sciences (2001); Arizona State University College of Law, J.D. (2004).

Occupation: Attorney

Relevant experience: Elected to Montana House of Representatives in 2010, 2012, and 2014 from House District 20. Vice Chairman of House Local Government and House Natural Resources Committees. Elected to Montana Senate in 2016 from Senate District 10. Senate Majority Whip, Chairman of Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee, and Vice Chairman of Senate Highways and Transportation Committee.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for reelection because I want to make Montana the best place to live, start a business, and raise a family. Montana is facing some serious challenges. Unfortunately, our political system has become highly polarized and people are not working together to solve the problems we face. We need leaders who have the experience and willingness to do the right thing to move Montana forward. I believe government is supposed to represent the people, not the party. We spend too much time asking whether a political party or special interest wins or loses. We need to stop that. I believe we should ask whether the people of Montana win or lose. I believe in the importance of working together to find solutions to the challenges we face. In the 2019 session, I worked with a broad coalition of legislators to pass meaningful legislation to improve access to healthcare and to lower the cost of prescription drugs, to protect property and water rights, and to improve our business environment. In total, I sponsored and passed 31 pieces of legislation, the most of any legislator. If reelected, I will continue to work with others to find solutions to the problems we face. You can count on me to represent you and put the interests of Montanans first.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My number one priority is improving our economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our economy and hurt many Montanans. To create good paying jobs, we need to implement policies to attract new businesses and investment. We can improve our economy by reducing the regulatory burden, lowering the cost of healthcare, promoting Montana as a place to do business, and by encouraging agriculture and natural resource development. I also want to continue our efforts to improve Montana’s healthcare system. In the 2019 session, I sponsored Senate Bill 125, a bill which helped reduce the cost of individual health insurance premiums by up to 14%, and Senate Bills 83 and 335 which prohibited practices by pharmacy benefit managers which increase the cost of prescription drugs. We need to build upon the work done in the 2019 session by continuing our efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, improving our Medicaid system, and making healthcare more affordable. Finally, we need to ensure Montana remains fiscally solvent and prepared for the unexpected. I believe the Montana Legislature has a responsibility to be a good steward of public resources. All spending decisions should be transparent and made in the best interests of Montana. The Legislature should only spend money for services we actually need and never tolerate any waste, fraud, or abuse in any fiscal matters.

Why should people vote for you?

I am the only candidate who will represent you, not the special interests or the party bosses. I have a conservative voting record and a proven record of working to find common sense solutions. As your Senator, I will do what is best for the people of Cascade County. I have been named a Montana Chamber of Commerce Champion of Business, have an “A” rating from the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, and a 100% score with the Montana Family Foundation. However, this election is about more than voting records. It is about electing a person who represents the values of the district. I believe in the importance of hard work, personal responsibility, and living within our means. I will support legislation which protects and enhances our community and the State of Montana. I will not support legislation that does otherwise. You can count of me to stand up for better jobs and a strong economy, improved access to healthcare, fiscally responsible government, and a better future for you and your family.

SENATE DISTRICT 35

Debra Brown, Republican

Age: 65

Address: PO Box 287, Townsend, MT 59647

Contact info: 406.461.6425

Education: Graduated from Carroll College with BA in Accounting, minor in Public Administration.

Occupation: Retired

Relevant experience: H&R Block office manager, treasurer for MTGOP, editor and publisher of Big Pasture News (Grandfield, OK), President of Lewis & Clark Republican Women, President for Montana Federation of Republican Women, Chair of Broadwater County Republican Central Committee.

Why are you running for this office?

I feel it is a calling of God for me to help the people of Montana.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Make a difference in the lives of the people of Montana and give voters a leader that will listen to them and carry their voices to the capital.

Why should people vote for you?

Because I am not a career politician. I have experienced a lot of the same things many of the people of Montana have experienced. I will treat voters like they are real people with real concerns and not like a means to an end. One of the biggest complaints I hear from voters is that they can't contact their elected officials. I pledge to be available to the voters.

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Walt Sales, Republican

Age: 59

Address: 3900 Stagecoach Trail Manhattan, MT 59741

Contact info: waltsales4montana.com

Education: Graduated from Manhattan High School 1978 before attending Montana State University.

Occupation: Farmer/Rancher

Relevant experience: Two-term 2017 -2019 Montana House District 69 Representative, 25 yrs. various community service

Why are you running for this office?

Senate District 35 became open due to term limits. SD 35 is made up of House District 69 and 70, these two districts have much in common with each other. Having served as Representative in my home district, HD 69, agriculture, mining, timber, construction, and small businesses need a proven voice, which I bring. I desire to continue what my past generations provided in civic duty, giving us the ability to raise a family and continue passing our farms and business to the next generation. Keeping our State the great place it is, while protecting our shared values, is work well worth doing.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

To continue bringing solutions to the State that welcomes and encourages all our children and grandchildren to stay and invest here. Allowing growth in the private sector, building a stable economy that would reduce the burden to our taxpayers.

Protection to the unborn.

Protection of our property rights, including water rights and the completion of the adjudication process.

Provide the best education possibilities focused on the students' progress while allowing more career and technical opportunities.

Continue to advocate for our veterans.

Provide a balanced budget that continues to reduce the size and reach of government, while including a plan for

funding the emergency fire fund, “rainy day” fund and needed infrastructure projects.

Why should people vote for you?

The work from the last two sessions will provide the ability to use relationships formed and established. My current involvement in the issues we are faced with brings valuable understanding making the needed changes, continuing the work that has been put in place.

My track record of support from agriculture, Montana Chambers of commerce, contractors and Montana Family Foundation shows that I work to protect investments in our communities which accomplishes real solutions. I have been able to face challenges while keeping politics “out”, letting government work for us.

My background in multiple community service areas has helped me understand where our State can do better and where we can release some oversite to help families with opportunities to thrive.

I humbly ask for your vote if you wish to send a candidate to the legislature that will continue working moving Montana forward, protecting our shared values while gaining a more efficient, responsive state government.

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Gary Perry, Republican

Age: 70

Address: 3325 W. Cedar Meadows Lane

Manhattan, MT 59741

Contact info: Gary@PerrySenate35.com

(406) 209-0251

Education: Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois

Emphasis in Hydrosystems, Hydrology, Environmental Engineering, And Water Resources Policy Minor, Business and Accounting

Occupation: Retired Business Owner, Perry Industries, Belgrade, MT

Relevant Experience:

Montana State Senate, 2003 – 2011

8 years on: Natural Resources Committee

Judiciary Committee, Chair 2009

Energy and Telecommunications

Business owner, signed the “front side of the check” for over 20 years

Why are you running for this office?

It is not possible for me to sit on the sidelines and watch government raise taxes and slowly allow our Constitutional Rights to deteriorate.

Our 2nd amendment rights must be protected, and there are now factions who are attempting to erode those rights.

There is a movement to promote and adopt Socialism. I oppose all attempts to do so.

Many times Montana’s Mining and Timber Industries have been stymied, or halted altogether, by frivolous lawsuits filed by “environmental” groups. Having served on Senate Natural Resources Committee, I believe that most, if not all, of those lawsuits are without merit, because Montana’s DEQ has carefully issued proper permits to allow such mining or logging, and the lawsuits are purposed for either delaying or denying such legally permitted activity. Those are actions that destroy jobs for Montana citizens, reducing wealth and welfare of those who would be employed, and simultaneously reducing the tax revenues that would help support local services and education of our children.

The decision to run was simple. My wife, Lisa, and I have three grandsons. We look at them and consider the future with which they will be endowed. It is the result of our actions today that will determine the future of our grandsons, and of your children, and of your grandchildren, and of all our progeny. It is therefore my duty to do all I can to provide a future that we all desire for our children.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

It is my objective to continue the work that I diligently pursued in my first eight years in the Senate. That work includes:

  • Create a business environment that will promote economic growth and prosperity for all the citizens of Montana
  • Reduce government spending and resist increases in taxation
  • Pursue Property Tax Reform. It remains totally arbitrary and capricious, and cannot continue to be the cause of citizens’ selling their homes because of taxes they can no longer afford.
  • Protect the most vulnerable of Human Life, the alive but not yet born.
  • Protect the 2nd Amendment. It will be my goal to further strengthen our rights to possess guns, whether for hunting or personal, home, and family protection, whether concealed or open carry, as allowed by law for law abiding citizens.
  • I will continue my work on Domestic Violence. When in the Senate, I served on the Domestic Violence Fatalities Review Board, and sponsored and passed several bills in the pursuit of reducing crimes against women and families.
  • Having sponsored and passed Jessica’s Law of Montana, I will continue my fight to protect young and innocent children from sexual predators.
  • Tort Reform (think of lawsuits against Mining, Logging, and Your Doctor!)
  • Promote Balanced Use of Public Lands
  • Lower Health Care costs while striving to improve Health Care

Why should people vote for you?

This candidate humbly asks for your vote; that vote will be for you, for your future, and for that of your children. And for that, I thank you.

SENATE DISTRICT 38

Jim Buterbaugh, Republican

Jim Buterbaugh provided the following statement in response to the survey questions: 

My name is Jim Buterbaugh. I am 65 years young and a 31 year resident of Whitehall. I am married to a now retired schoolteacher. She taught for 33 years. 30 years in Whitehall. We raised two beautiful daughters. I have a married son in Minnesota. Thanks to him and his wife, we have 3 beautiful grandboys.

As a veteran, I believe that decisions involving our State and Country needs to reflect a basic belief in both Constitutions, State and Nation. When a representative is elected into office, he or she takes an oath of office. A pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. A pledge to bear true faith and allegiance to this nation, not a political party, special interest group or any outside influence. How many representatives that have been elected to office, actually even looked at the constitution?

I believe that our borders and immigration laws must be enforced. I believe that Sanctuary anything is illegal. Sanctuary defies the laws of our nation, endangering the very lives that politicians swore to protect.

Voter integrity. A must if our elections are to be functional. Ballot harvest needs to be illegal. If you have a mail in ballot, mail it back or drop it in the box at the polling station. Why do we allow University students, who are in state just long enough to leave, the opportunity to vote in Montana elections? Did you know that nursing home directors receive the ballots for the patients? For a secure election, Picture I.D. cards is an absolute must.

I love the America I grew up in. I love the America that I raised my kids in. I want that America to still be here for my grandkids to enjoy. I look across the United States and I see the assault on our nation’s laws. The assault on our freedoms. The assault on our Constitution. It saddens me to see such a breakdown of our society. I feel that a lack of American Education plays a big part in this failure. An education needs to include a thorough examination of American history, the good and the bad. Lessons of what we have done for other nations, what other nations have done for us. Civics must be taught in order to understand the what, where and why of our nation.

Medicare for all? At who’s expense? Who is going to control the fraud? I am against abortion as birth control. So, why does my tax dollars pay for it?

Sex Ed in schools? Just the basics and not before 7th grade. It is the parent’s choice what their children are exposed to by ‘responsible’ adults.

Taxation has always been a sticky wicket. Now there is talk of a sales tax. Umm...NO. Montana is the treasure state for a reason, and we can reasponsibly use those treasures. We have fallen for the tax hike lies before. Lottery was supposed to support schools. That was what we were told. Montana voters passed the lottery bill and what happened? They threw that money into the general (slush) fund. Once a tax is introduced, is it ever removed? No to internet taxes. No to a sale tax

Employment. Instead of a promise of more jobs, how about job opportunities? The only job that the government can create is government job. I think there is more than enough of them. It is the private sector that needs to be allowed to grow, without a lot of red tape.

I know that I can’t make changes by myself, but that is why we have so many legislatures. Many hands make for light work. We just need to be on the same page.

America has always been the beacon of freedom for citizens of other country. I fear that beacon is a bit dimmer. Greed in politics has cost this country dearly. Not just monetarily, but criminally also.

As a conservative Republican I believe in the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

On my facebook page, Jim For SD38, every Thursday night at 7 pm I am having a Zoom townhall meet and greet. Join us. My email is jimforsd38@gmail.com.

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Jane Hamman, Republican

Age: 79

Address: P O Box 164, Clancy MT 59634-0164

Contact info: 406.933.8203; Jane.HammanforSD38@gmail.com;

Facebook: Jane Hamman for Senate District 38

Education: B.A. magna cum laude, sociology/history Carroll University, Waukesha, WI; M.S. organization and public policy, Columbia University and Falk College Syracuse University

Occupation: nonprofit and governmental affairs

Relevant experience:

Work experience included Montana Legislative Fiscal Division analyst and Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning assistant budget director; prior experience: United Way of Central New York planning-allocations director, Syracuse, NY, and Council on Child Abuse and Neglect executive director, Columbia, SC. Volunteer experience includes North Jefferson County Clancy and Montana City Libraries trustees chair, receiving the Montana Library Association 2019 Jane Lopp Trustee award; United Methodist Church Clancy lay leader and finance chair, Yellowstone Conference Finance and Administration and Congregational Development Committees two terms, Western Jurisdictional Conference program chair, General Conference 2012 Finance Committee secretary; United Way of Lewis & Clark Area board and allocations committee; Wreaths Across America statehouse coordinator 2013-present; U.S. Constitution Week Daughters of the American Revolution state chair 2012-present, DAR chapter historian, vice regent and regent 2010-2016, Montana state DAR vice regent and regent 2014-2019.

I am a NRA life endowment patron, Judicial Watch legacy member, Heritage Foundation founders club, Hillsdale College legacy society, National Society DAR legacy and endowment member and US Daughters of 1812 member. I support Kate Duncan Smith DAR School, Citizens Against Government Waste, Yellowstone and Glacier National Park Foundations, Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, National World War II Museum, Museum of the American Revolution, The American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, USO, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Second Amendment Foundation. After supporting the new Southwest Montana Veterans Home in Butte during multiple legislative sessions, organizing and participating in Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans commemorative events, I received the Department of Defense Commemorative Partners 2017 veterans service award for Montana. My support for renewal and expansion of Sons of the American Revolution in Helena and Montana was recognized with the national Lydia Darragh medal and award in 2019.

Why are you running for this office?

Clancy has been my home for 38 years. I cherish its rich heritage of hard-working, wonderful people who came from all over the world to settle here; I find the natural beauty of this place heart-warming and restorative; and I revere its monumental natural resources and opportunities for individuals to learn, hunt, fish, recreate and live satisfying lives here.

After holding fulfilling and challenging jobs in five states, when I reflect on what gave me the greatest satisfaction, it was working with thousands of bills on behalf of five different governors of both parties in the Montana Capitol! I truly enjoy assessing the need for a bill, relative costs and benefits, unintended consequences, alternatives and relationship to current state law and other programs so that everyone may contribute to wise state legislation and decision-making. I would be humbled and honored to use my skills and work/volunteer experiences to serve friends and neighbors who live here and also love this Last Best Place. Working together we can preserve and strengthen all that is good and meet the major challenges of recovering from Covid-19 and the future.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I will support jobs and greater opportunities in agriculture, mining, timber, natural resources and innovative entrepreneurs so that residents may successfully stay here. Second, I will work to preserve and strengthen families and communities. Both are under incredible pressures with the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, a changing economy, closure of schools, churches and businesses, increasing drug use, and loss of purpose among too many young people.

I would be honored to serve on Senate Finance and Claims Committee. Although Covid-19 economic recovery may require multiple sessions, I would support using a portion of future state revenue growth to reduce residential property taxes.

Why should people vote for you?

I am pro-Declaration of Independence and firmly believe the bedrock of our families, communities, state and country is our God-given unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and Opportunities to Pursue our Dreams. I am pro-U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights and believe the Republican Party best represents these principles. The residents of SD 38 deserve a state senator who will welcome their questions and suggestions, defend traditional American family and community values and use their education, employment and volunteer experiences to represent them with common sense and integrity.

SENATE DISTRICT 39

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Gordon Pierson, Democrat

Age: 48 years old

Address: 603 Washington St, Deer Lodge 59722

Contact info: 406-846-4700, bigdogarmwrestling@yahoo.com or on Facebook

Education: Powell County High School class of ’89. Graduate of MT Tech with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree

Occupation: I am an emergency room nurse at Community Hospital of Anaconda as well as owner of Gordo’s Gonna be Famous cooking

Relevant experience: I have proudly represented the Deer Lodge community as your state representative for HD 78 for the last 8 years. I am involved and vested in this area as a life-long resident.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for Senate District 39 because I am termed out per MT term limits for HD 78 and I want to continue representing and fighting for Deer Lodge and surrounding communities at the state level of government.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My priorities only begin with……

1) The COVID-19 crisis and the safety and wellness of the people within SD 39 and all of MT. It has been difficult not being able to knock doors and talk to people face to face but so important in ultimately saving lives! Being a nurse helps me with being a good representative of the people.

2) Jobs and Economy. This definitely includes standing up for and working FOR our state workers and their families. Protecting TERS and PERS plans and fair wages are big parts of this priority. I will continue as I have done serving on the House Business and Labor committee for the last eight years. I also strongly support mining, lumber and reclamation and the many jobs these industries have provided. I am strongly against right to work legislation, and am endorsed by MFPE, MT Stockgrowers, MT Farm Bureau, MT Hospital Association, AFL-CIO and Sun Mountain Lumber as well.

3) Healthcare and Mental Illness. Maintaining responsible and accessible healthcare for all MT citizens especially our elderly and vulnerable populations is a top priority of mine. I'm tired of the Butte-Anaconda-Deer Lodge area being the “hot spot” in the state for suicide rates as well as our great state being in the top three for suicide in the nation!! I will continue this battle as I have done serving on the House Health and Human Services committee for the last eight years.

4) Keeping public land public, available and open for future generations of our Montana children is always a top priority of mine.

Why should people vote for you?

People should vote for me because I deeply care about my neighbors and work hard to keep “politics” out of lawmaking. I represent the PEOPLE not the politics.

Mark Sweeney, Democrat

Age: 60

Address: 337 Beta Philipsburg, Montana. I lived in Anaconda for 27 years from 1986 to 2013

Born and raised: Born in Butte Montana, Raised in Miles City, MT

Contact info: email: masween@hotmail.com phone: (406) 560-0171

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Montana Western in Natural Resource Management

Occupation: Retired Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Currently Real Estate Broker/Owner Montana Blue Ribbon Real Estate, owner Aquatic Resource Management, natural resource consulting business.

Relevant experience:

Two terms Anaconda Deer Lodge County Commission, served as Chairman, on Health, Park and Recreation, Airport, Solid Waste, TIFID, Planning, Greenway Service District, Weed and Super Fund Boards.

Montana House of Representatives, District 77. Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Transportation and House Administration Committees, the Interim Transportation Committee and Co-Chair of the Sportsmen’s Caucus.

Appointed by Governor Bullock to the Upper Clark Fork River Basin Citizens Advisory Council, appointed by President Obama to the Western Montana Bureau of Land Management Advisory Council.

Past President Anaconda Arrowhead Foundation an EPA Technical Advisory Group, past president Anaconda Ancient Order of Hibernians, Saint Patrick’s Day Race Director. Member Anaconda Knights of Columbus, Anaconda Sportsmen Club and started the Kiwanis Kid’s Fishing Day.

Why are you running for this office?

I am drawn to public service. I enjoy working with my constituents on issues that are important to them and our communities. I want to be an effective Senator and bring State funding and projects home to Senate District 39. The 4 year term of a Senator allows me to build strong relationships with other law makers, the governor’s office and constituents to work together on important legislation.

I have good communication and listening skills, and I enjoy getting to know people on a personal level. As a fourth generation Montanan I find it easy to connect with other lawmakers from around the State. The old adage, “Montana is just a small town with long streets” is true.

I understand the legislative process and what it takes to work with others to pass bills, or keep bad bills from becoming law. I am willing to work across party lines to pass legislation that is good for our State.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

First, we need to recover from this COVID-19 heath crisis. Many bills will be dealing with this issue. We need to make sure we pass bills that strengthen the local economy, create employment, and ensure that small businesses not only survive but thrive. We need to develop a quick response Medical Reserve that can be called together quickly in the future.

I would like to work on legislation that raises minimum wage of fulltime, essential State workers to $15 per hour. During this current health crisis almost all workers at the Montana State Hospital and the Montana State Prison were identified as essential. I believe that every one of them should make a minimum wage of $15 per hour. These facilities also need funding upgrades and maintenance and I will work to make that happen.

I would like to work on legislation that will care for those that suffer from mental illness and make sure they get the treatment they need. We need to pass legislation that identifies those in need and gets them the help they need in the communities where they live.

Committees I would be interested in serving on include the Senate Administration Committee as I bring experience from the local government perspective. Very few legislators have City County government experience and I believe I can provide important insight.

Energy and Telecommunications is also an area of interest. I think SW Montana has a bright future in further developing our energy resources and infrastructure such as natural gas lines and access to electrical transmission. I would also like to work to bring broadband to our entire state. This is key to future economic development.

Why should people vote for you?

I am honest, hard working and I stay in touch with my constituents not just during the legislative session but throughout the year. I am available. On every piece of campaign literature or in newspaper ads, my phone number is listed in bold: 560-0171. I encourage people to contact me as their Senator and express their concerns. We are in this together.

SENATE DISTRICT 40

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Catherine Scott, Democrat

Age: 53

Address: PO Box 5631, in Helena, MT 59604.

Contact info: 406-458-4910; Email: scottcatherine1@yahoo.com; Website: www.catherinescottformontana.com

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (B.S.)

Master’s degree in Public Administration with emphasis in Public Management (M.P.A.)

Currently working on my dissertation toward a Doctorate (Ph.D.) program in Public Health.

Certified as a Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Occupation:

Retired Law Enforcement Officer.

Currently, an Investigator with the Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.

I am the President of the Big Valley Rural Improvement Division (RID).

I am a Public Board Member with the Lewis and Clark County Water Quality Protection Division.

I am a Committeewoman for Democrat Precinct 27.

Relevant experience:

I moved out of my home at 16 and worked in fast food and food stores. At times I lived in my car and couch surfed due to limited monies. I continued my schooling and graduated high school. After graduation, I took a position as a 911 dispatcher and worked part-time at a food store to supplement my income. At this point, I was able to obtain a decent residence with the help of a roommate. I managed to very slowly put myself through undergraduate school and advanced my career by becoming a Law Enforcement Officer. I have lived in poverty. I have worried about the one incident that could destroy the hard-fought work that brought me some stability.

As a law enforcement officer, I dealt with issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, fraud, suicide, and various tragedies. I witnessed how trauma due to economic loss or the loss of a loved one could send even the most stable or solvent individual spiraling. Through it all, I found a way to assist individuals the best way I could with the resources available, and I understood just how lacking our resources and programs were due to inequity and inequality in the system.

I was a Senior Policy and Management Analyst for several years. I worked with legislators and was involved in writing administrative rules. I understand how a system can become so cumbersome or contradictory that it may be more problematic than the issue the system was meant to address.

I have worked with the city of Helena Housing Authority as a Low-Income Housing Property Manager and now work as an Investigator with the Montana Department of Justice where I investigate abuse and neglect of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, elderly exploitation, and fraud. I understand the need for mental and public health resources as well as the need for affordable housing.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running to expand and protect public health and mental health services, to protect public lands, to provide resources to educators and first responders, and to move Montana forward with infrastructure and innovation needs.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Public and Mental Health – Ensure Medicaid expansion remains in place and any limitations to the program be removed. Re-institute the services removed during the 2017 legislature for the elderly as well as the developmentally and intellectually disabled. Invest in programs to combat poverty and addiction. Ensure tele-health/medical access is available across the State.

Education – To adequately fund Pre-K and support public schools through Montana. To ensure mental health and resiliency services are in place for students as kids in Montana, from ages 11 to 17, have a suicide rate three times higher than the national level.

Infrastructure - Push to protect our drinking water, to upgrade systems for wastewater, to expand broadband, and to maintain adequate roadways.

Public Lands –Ensure access to public lands remain open so that all Montanans can enjoy their heritage of hunting, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors.

Economic Opportunities – Push for resources and assistance to help small businesses, freelancers, and the self-employed to thrive through incentives and by ensuring the infrastructure is in place for internet-based opportunities through the expansion of broadband within the State.

Why should people vote for you?

I understand what it means to work on the front lines as I have worked in food services, public health services, as well as in law enforcement. I understand what it means to be sent into a crisis and how a crisis can impact one’s family. I understand the need to find a better way to acquire healthcare than through an employer as there is a potential of losing one’s healthcare due to an economic downturn or because of one’s health issues.

I look forward to working with our community and finding meaningful ways to ensure a bright future for Montanans.

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Jacob Torgerson, Democrat

Age: I’ll be turning 18 in May, and with my youth, I can bring a fresh, new, and forward-thinking perspective to Montana politics.

Address: 3790 Wylie Dr, Helena, Montana, 59602

Contact info: Email: JacobTorgersonForMT@gmail.com, Phone: +1(406) 459-8756, Website: TorgersonForMT.com

Education: I am a senior at Capital High School, and will be attending college in the fall as a first-generation student. I plan on double-majoring in economics and political science.

Occupation: Student

Relevant experience: Youth President of the Montana Youth Legislature, member of Helena Youth Against Gun Violence.

Why are you running for this office?

"There are far too many issues that prove that our current government and representation doesn’t have our best interests at heart. We’ve seen attempts to destabilize our workers’ comp fund, a steady movement towards decreased funding for our public schools, and bailouts for big energy companies that leave taxpayers footing the bill. Time and again, our representation has put the interests of corporations ahead of the interests of everyday Montanans. I got into this fight to turn back that tide, and to bring back a government that serves the public interest. But it’s not enough to run just to be against stuff. I’ve heard the stories of parents who can’t afford childcare. I’ve heard the worries of families trying to afford a college education. I’ve seen in my own life the impact of anti-small business policies on my own family. That’s who I’m running for, and that’s who I intend to serve. I’m running for Montana’s families and for Montana’s future. This race isn’t just about grandstanding on age-old slogans and empty promises. It’s about putting forward bold ideas and translating them into comprehensive policy solutions, on issues ranging from mental health to conservation to our public schools. It’s about building a future that works for all of Montana, and about uniting Montana to meet that future headon."

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My immediate priorities will always be the issues that matter most to the people of this district, and that starts at the earliest levels of childhood education. I have a plan to provide a public option for every 3-, 4-, and 5-year old around the state, so that our pre-K system is robust and accessible. By fighting for our young people’s right to a quality education, we can prepare a new generation of leaders for Montana, and prepare our kids for a rapidly changing economy and workforce. My progressive agenda also includes empowering communities to tackle our mental health crisis, providing high quality broadband to all corners of this great state to ensure that no community is left out, and protecting our public lands for posterity’s sake. My agenda is not just about stabilizing our present-- it’s about building an economy and a Montana that can continue to thrive as we move forward in the 21st century.

Why should people vote for you?

I grew up hiking on our public lands and learning in our public schools. I’ve spent my entire life in this district, working to help protect our democracy and experiencing the issues that affect everyday Montanans. I come from a sixth-generation middle class family of small business owners, and I’m proud to build on that tradition as we move forward. I believe in a progressive future for all Montanans, one in which our public lands aren’t jeopardized by out of state billionaires and our social security doesn’t face the threat of privatization. I believe in honoring the proud tradition of our people, and using that tradition to inform the progress that we can make, together. There will always be detractors, who say that it’s too soon to fight for universal pre-K, that standing up to corporations is a losing fight, or that you have to be an establishment insider to get anything done. But I don’t think that’s true. I think real power resides with real people, and that progress is not a pipe dream. Making this progress, uniting Montana, and building a government that works for everyone requires public servants who are beholden to their constituents, not PACs and corporations. If you want a senator with comprehensive policies that work for everyone, a fresh perspective on the issues, and a deep respect for the everyday Montanan, I’m your guy.

HOUSE DISTRICT 70

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Julie Dooling, Republican

Age: 48

Address: 3855 Cedar Valley Rd, Helena, MT 59602

Contact info: 406-471-4125, jd2.dooling@gmail.com

Education:

I’m a 4th Generation Montanan, grew up in the small town of Somers, in the Flathead Valley and graduated from Flathead High School. I obtained my securities licenses in 2002 and have been working in financial services ever since. Together with my husband Joe and son Tyler, we own and operate a cattle ranch since 2010, when my husband and I expanded our farm business.

Occupation:

Financial Professional/Para-Planner at Sullivan Financial Group and Co-Owner/Operator of Cedar Creek Land & Livestock, a family run a cow/calf operation, also growing malt barley and alfalfa hay.

Relevant experience:

On January 7, 2019, with my son by my side, I had the incredible honor of being sworn in as the Representative for House District 70 and beginning my freshman term in the 66th Legislative Session. I served on the State Administration, Transportation and Agriculture committees. I presented 8 bills to various committees; 4 became law. Two bills that became law, HB 175 State Employee Pay Plan and HB 421 Revisions to Criminal Code, were listed on the Republican Leadership’s Agenda of Priority Legislation!

I learned so much in those 90 short days and I cannot wait to apply that knowledge and work even harder for the voters of House District 70 and Montana.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for re-election because I want to continue the journey that resulted in so many positive outcomes that we attained last session. We were able to pass a balanced budget that fully funded the Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund, the Fire Fund and had a solid balance of 300 million in the General Fund. Without those protective measures, our state would not be in the financially positive position that it is currently in to handle the Covid-19 crisis.

I also want to continue to be an Advocate for Agriculture and Natural Resource Development.

Agriculture is the lifeblood of Montana’s economy and plays a critical role in the livelihoods of the people in House District 70 and much of rural Montana. I believe that the person elected to represent this district should have vested interest in Agriculture —someone who lives, works, and whose future depends on the success of this vital industry.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I will continue to be a staunch advocate for needs of our agriculture industry, natural resource development and small business in Montana. As I’ve said before, I still believe we need to develop our natural resources by mining, logging, and developing oil & gas while also ensuring that our environment is taken care of for future generations—I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. We need to continue to reduce unnecessary regulations and promote responsible development.

Additionally, as a gun owner, Trap enthusiast and former NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, I believe we have the right to protect ourselves, our family, and our home and will be a steadfast supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights.

Why should people vote for you?

I know what it takes to make a living in Montana, and I know that it isn’t always easy to do so— whether you’re a single parent, operating a farm or ranch or running a small business.

I’m proud of the work that I did last session. I received the Medal of Merit from the MT Sheriff & Peace Officers Association, the Champion of Business from the Montana Chamber and the 2019 Chairman’s Special Recognition Award from the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce. I made a huge impact as a freshman Legislator and I want to continue to be a resolute voice and advocate for Rural Montana.

Ultimately, I think people should vote for me because I genuinely want to make a difference for the people of House District 70, this state and in our future—and that is why I hope the voters of House District 70 will consider supporting me once again on June 2nd.

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Tim Ravndal, Republican

Tim Ravndal provided the following statement in response to the survey questions: 

My name is Tim Ravndal, I am 62 years young and I was born and raised in Anaconda. I live in Townsend Montana with my wife. We raised 3 children here and I am retired and ready to serve the people. I began attending legislative sessions in 1993 working to help the people of Montana realize a true seat in the People’s House. Enjoyment of an open and transparent government is an essential part of our Constitutional Republic. In these many meetings I have learned inside and out how our government works.

I believe that the rights of the citizens must be protected at the local level first. Attending local government meetings for the past 20 years has given me a true picture of what is going on in America. Our elected officials cannot be afraid to stand up against government overreach and to defend the rights of the citizens.

Representative Julie Dooling has consistently crossed that bridge of growing government. Many of the programs that come to the legislature are dependent upon federal and state funding. That is the tax dollars that come from your pocket. I will not support any legislation that increases taxes.

Here in Montana we are highly dependent upon our natural resources to ensure our local economies are supported; not prohibited from development. Growing up in a ranching environment, working in the logging and mining industries I have been on the front lines. We need an aggressive approach to defending our heritage and I will bring my experience to the table.

Part of our heritage that is very close to the hearts of the people of Montana is hunting. Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks is an agency that has been working for non-profit organizations taking tax dollars managing people instead of wildlife. I will stand solid against a growing agency that fails to properly administer the people’s wildlife. Original intent on many funding programs have been inappropriately applied forcing taxpayers to fund programs not essential to wildlife management.

Many Montana laws that provide service through department authority do not have any enforcement provisions. The inability to provide a process that protects the rights of the people is a major problem. Public Health & Human Services is one agency that continues to expand its authority into the homes of the people beyond any function of government. We need to have an elected official to represent the people instead of the system. When unelected officials usurp power from the people without any laws that hold them accountable that must be addressed without delay.

Title 2 and Title 7 Laws have many sections that provide for the ability to ensure that the people’s rights are defined and protected. Unfortunately, when the rights of the people to participate in government actions are not protected, the citizens do not have an equitable process to ensure those violating our rights are held accountable. These laws need to have enforcement provisions enhanced. This is a high priority of why I am running.

Being a representative of the people is a fulltime job even though the legislature only meets every 2 years. I am in a position in my life where my passion for our future is my calling card from God to serve the people. If you want Representative Julie Dooling to continue the rubber stamp growth program that is your choice. If you want a representative to go to the People’s House with courage to fix broken laws instead of creating new ones, I am your man.

Our ballots go in the mail in a couple short weeks. If you agree that I am the right candidate to stand up for your rights we will win. With your support I will continue to work hard to make sure the people have a seat at the table for our future.

Paid for By Tim Ravndal

Debra Brown Treasurer

PO Box 287

Townsend Montana 59644

406-439-5860

Thornyacre43@gmail.com

HOUSE DISTRICT 75

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Marta Bertoglio, Republican

Age: 51

Address: PO Box 294, Clancy, MT

Contact info: Email: martaformontana@gmail.com

Website: https://martaformontana.com/index.php Facebook: BertoglioforMT

Education: Powell County High School and US Air Force Academy graduate

Occupation: Real Estate Broker/Owner – Uncommon Ground; Major, United States Air Force Veteran

Relevant experience: Wife, mother, small business owner, military officer, school board trustee, youth sports coach, religious education teacher, active Christian, and avid outdoorswoman.

Why are you running for this office?

I was born and raised in the Deer Lodge valley. Family values and creating opportunities for rural Montana are important. As an Air Force Academy graduate and military officer, I have defended and believe in our nation and the United States and Montana Constitutions.

I am a lifelong Republican, running as a principled, fiscal conservative with a focus on expanding upon the good paying jobs in our District. We are blessed and unique to have a District with more industry sectors present than just about any other county.

As a small business owner, I understand the daily challenges of providing a good service for a good value to customers, treating employees fairly, and paying bills on time. I will be an advocate for removal of unnecessary barriers to businesses and needless regulation.

I am pro 2nd Amendment, pro-life and against taxes. Government needs to be efficient and effective. I am a states’ rights advocate, especially when it comes to controlling industry sectors that drive Montana’s economy.

I will bring common sense, dignity and civility to the public policy arena in representing the District.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Our single largest issue during the 2021 Legislative Session will be navigating the ongoing economic and health issues surrounding the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Government at all levels needs to evaluate regulations that can be relaxed in order to allow our most impacted industries to have a fighting chance to recover.

We need to enable growth in our natural resource industries and the good paying jobs they create. This District has multiple mines and timber interests that support our schools, tax base and small businesses.

I view education as the great equalizer in our society, giving every student an opportunity to excel and grow. I am a local control advocate because the best decisions are usually made by those closest to the boots on the ground. I support the ability of students to obtain college credit or trades certificates while in high school. It is important that our higher education system caters to a curriculum that best prepares our youth to have access to good paying jobs when they graduate.

Regarding health care, we need to protect and support our direct care workers who are putting themselves (and their family members) in physical jeopardy by caring for others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The best way to reduce taxpayer funded healthcare is to get people back to work so they can return to their private insurance as soon as possible. In my mind, the Medicaid program should be reserved for our most vulnerable citizens, such as those with mental health challenges or documented disabilities. As such, I would support work requirements and efforts to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

I am the only candidate for this office with a military background. In addition, my husband Joe is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. We have direct insight into the challenges of our veterans, including access to health care, mental health, and suicide awareness to name a few.

Montana is blessed with vast public lands. I value public access to hike, hunt, fish, backpack, bike, ride motorcycles/atv’s/utv’s, ride horses, and ski. I will support public access legislation so long as it does not seek to run over the top of landowners with whom we need to partner to provide additional, meaningful access opportunities.

Why should people vote for you?

I am an engaged community leader, trying to make our District a better place to live, work and raise our families. I learned about hard work and duty watching my parents serve their small community, and I carried on that service when I attended the Air Force Academy and served our country for over 16 years. Service before self has been a guiding principle in my life, and I want to continue to serve my friends and neighbors in the Montana Legislature. Service and being a leader is what I do. It is who I am.

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Greg DeVries, Republican

Age: 50

Address: PO Box 15 Jefferson City

Contact info: gdv4hd75@hotmail.com

Greg DeVries for Montana House District 75 on Facebook

406-570-9280

Education: Bachelors in Visual Communication

Occupation: Painting Contractor

Relevant experience: current Representative for HD75

Why are you running for this office?

To continue to lend a Christian conservative voice: 1) for the unborn, 2) against government overreach, and 3) against any fiscal growth in government or our taxes, including property, income, fees, licenses and any other imaginable contrivance to access our wallets.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I hope to see the outlawing of abortion. To stop the murder of unborn children is the main reason I initially ran for office. I also hope to see government diminish greatly in proportion to the growth of our freedoms, and I hope to see the state budget, funded by our taxes, shrink down to a reasonable size. Our state’s budget is ridiculous.

Why should people vote for you?

First, abortion is a scourge in our society. It is unconscionable to simply continue the state sanctioned killing of unborn children. I have a dream…that a Republican Governor will step up and sign a bill outlawing abortion, and a bold Republican Attorney General will fight to uphold and defend the duly enacted constitutional laws of this state. In this, Montana can show the rest of the nation that we need not bow our knee to the inhumane whims of black-robed autocrats. The wishes of three or five individuals should not decide the fate of our state or our nation.

Second, as is evidenced in the Dem-Panic of the Covid hysteria, government overreach can quickly devolve into silly tyranny. We isolate everyone into their homes, and then funnel our entire society through the same gas stations and grocery stores. We rescind the right of many in the private sector to pursue happiness in their work, while telling most in the government sector they are “essential” and they may earn a living. We violate private contracts between landlord and tenant or lender and borrower because “we care”. Permission to exercise our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property does not come from the second floor of the Capitol in Helena, nor from Washington. Those rights are God-given, and the permission comes from Him. Our Constitutions were established to protect Us the People from such tyranny and to simply trample them in the name of expediency is a symptom of bad governance and throws open the door to worse abuses in the future. Government needs to recede so the people may succeed. We need legislators who will fight the growth and control of government. Let’s remain Big Sky country, and not become Big Brother country.

Third, as a state we spend money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. There is absolutely no reason our budget should nearly double in the span of sixteen years. Bureaucracies grow if you feed them money, and ours has become a thick hedge of iron brambles not easily cut back. Medicaid expansion, permissive levies, ballooning property taxes..the growth of the state is unsustainable and we need to reverse course. Nearly forty percent of our state budget is federal dollars. The federal dollars sent to us were not wrested from our pockets alone, but also from the pockets of all our neighbors throughout America. This is beside the fact that the federal government is tens of trillions of dollars in debt already. We are robbing our grandchildren’s grandchildren. We need to trim, cut, and slash our way back to fiscal freedom. Property taxes are locusts on Montanans, consuming estates and devouring savings and futures. The looming threat of sales tax builds on the horizon of the next session as some in government are already scheming and dreaming of new ways to accrue “revenue” for the state coffers. Enough! A total of nearly fourteen billion dollars over two years to run a simple state government should astonish and enrage Montanans.

If this represents the desires of the voters in HD75, I hope to return to the Capitol to continue the fight for freedom.

HOUSE DISTRICT 79

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Ed Coleman, Democrat

Age: 46

Address: 845 Granite Ave

Contact info: P.O. Box 636 Helena, MT 59624

Education: University of Montana – BS Forestry, Natural Resources Management

Occupation: Bureau Chief, State of Montana, Dept of Environmental Quality

Relevant experience: 19 years protecting Montanans’ right to a clean and healthful environment, responsibly managing state budgets, and successfully enacting four pieces of legislation working with all sides and stakeholders

Why are you running for this office?

The simple answer - I care. I care about my constituents’ values, I care about their issues, I care about Helena, I care about Montana, and I care a lot about what citizens in HD 79 have to say. And I realized it was time to step up and serve my friends and neighbors in the legislature.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My primary goal is to be responsive to my constituents. HD 79 deserves to be represented by someone elected by the constituents who listens and responds to them and who knows firsthand how state policies impact the district. My primary policy focuses are formed by my own experience as a Montanan, father, and public servant for nearly two decades:

  • Safe schools and a high-quality education for all,
  • Accessible and affordable health care – including mental health care,
  • Making Montana work for working Montanans,
  • Preserving our public lands and access to them, and
  • Protecting our privacy and personal freedoms.

I know Montana will come out okay on the other side of this pandemic, but to recover socially and economically and to preserve and expand our role as an agricultural and energy producer, Montana needs leaders willing to work with all stakeholders who want to do the right thing for our state. Through collaborative efforts and the great ethic of Montana’s rugged work force, we can lead the charge to recovery from this pandemic. With over two decades of leadership and scientific training in emergency response, I can be an integral part of helping Montana recover and prepare for what’s ahead.

Why should people vote for you?

I have a proven track record of getting good legislation passed - four bills on behalf of both the Schweitzer and Bullock administrations passed and signed into law. I’ve worked with the legislature for the last two decades to make thoughtful changes to the law and have successfully worked with both Democrats and Republicans to come up with common sense solutions that have resulted in bills signed by the Governor. Also, I have a track record of being receptive and responsive to public input in my role as a regulator. I’ll carry this track record over to the Capitol, where I am there to listen to and be a voice for the people of HD 79.

I believe in the law, science, common sense, and listening to all sides and perspectives before making a decision. I do not have a personal agenda, nor am I beholden to any special interests. I am running to represent my constituents and their values and issues, and that is why people should vote for me.

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Rob Farris-Olsen, Democrat

Age: 36

Address: P.O. Box 418, Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: (406) 794-4780, robformontana@gmail.com, farris-olsen.com

Education: 2002 Helena High, 2006 B.A. Whitman College - Environmental Studies-Chemistry, 2011 J.D. with Honors and Certificate in Natural Resources Law, University of Montana School of Law

Occupation: Attorney

Relevant experience:

Since being elected to represent HD 79 in 2018, I have diligently worked to make the District and Montana better, including supporting a $750,000 infrastructure grant for the District. In my time in the 2019 session, I connected with my caucus, and friends across the aisle. This experience is critical to advancing our shared values. I was able to collaborate with my party and republicans to work on reforming our criminal justice system, fund Aquatic Invasive Species prevention, and hold sex offenders accountable. I know how the system works and have effectively advocated for my constituents since being elected in 2018.

Beyond my time in the Legislature, I have experience at the local level and understand the funding needs of the District, in particular with infrastructure, but also with general fund obligations like fire, police and parks. This experience carries over into the legislature when we work on issues like homeowner association laws, landlord tenant laws, and providing grants (like the $750,000 TSEP grant to HD 79) to local governments.

Finally, as an experienced lawyer, I am versed on the impacts and legality of our proposed laws. For example, my work on constitutional issues in my day job made me able to speak about the illegality of many abortion restrictions proposed. It also helped me work with colleagues across the aisle to defeat bills that infringed on our constitutional rights to privacy, due process and illegal search and seizures. As one of the only lawyers in the legislature, and without constitutional review of proposed bills, my voice is one of the few that knowledgeably speaks to the impacts and legality of the laws we put in place.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running for re-election because of my commitment to the District and all of Montanans, especially marginalized populations. In my time in public service and private law practice, I’ve dedicated my work towards protecting individuals. In the session, I worked to ensure that incarcerated individuals were not having their meager earnings collected by the state to pay public defender fees, as well as trying to change our debt collection system to protect public benefits like the earned income tax credit, or more recently, the stimulus checks from the CARES Act.

My desire to make Montana and the District even better, also extends to making sure our public employees - like my retired parents - don’t have their benefits cut, and are protected against unfair student loan servicer abuses. At the same time, I want to ensure that our public lands and access are protected.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

If re-elected, I hope to continue working to protect Montana’s workers, public lands, and marginalized populations. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and potentially the only lawyer on the committee, I have a unique ability to speak to criminal justice issues, against anti-abortion measures, and in favor of vaccinations. This advocacy is critical to defeating harmful and unconstitutional bills. I also serve on House Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife Committees. I hope to use my position on these committees to continue working to protect Montana from the potentially devastating impact of Aquatic Invasive Species, ensure public access to public lands, and preserve our heritage of fair chase hunting.

I will also continue to defend Montana’s citizens by working on consumer protection issues such as laws against price gouging during emergencies, protection of public benefits, student loans and many others. As the only full-time consumer lawyer in the legislature, I am in a unique position to carry and advocate for these types of laws, all of which are geared towards protecting Montanans from abusive practices.

Why should people vote for you?

As a local public servant, a public interest attorney, and a Representative, I have the experience necessary to continue advocating for all Montanans and making HD 79 an even better place to work and live. I grew up in Helena and came back here after finishing my education because this is where my wife and I want to raise our family. I have been honored to serve the people of HD79, Helena and Montana and will work hard to continue to earn their confidence.

HOUSE DISTRICT 84

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Mary Ann Dunwell, Democrat

Age: 65

Address: 2811 Alexis Avenue, Helena, MT 59601

Contact info: (406)-461-5358 cell/text, maryann.dunwell@mtleg.gov, dunwellforhd84@gmail.com

Education: B.A. Speech/Communications, University of Delaware

Occupation: Incumbent state legislator, retired state public information officer, former journalist

Relevant experience: Your state legislator for Montana House District 84 Helena/East Helena for nearly six years

Why are you running for this office?

During this COVID-19 public health emergency, my heart goes out to families, friends and neighbors who face sickness or the loss of a loved one to coronavirus. The crisis has turned our lives upside down. Many of you face financial uncertainty. In a pandemic, the role of government is so important to mitigate uncertainty and move us to recovery. As a state legislator, I’m honored to support important public programs, anytime, but especially at a critical time like this. I want to continue serving you and supporting policies that protect your public health and safety, economic security, public K-12 and higher education, clean and healthful environment, and improve your lives. Coronavirus magnifies the deep inequities, disparities, and weaknesses that still exist in our state. Many workers deemed essential are among the lowest paid. Some workers have no paid sick leave, let alone paid family leave. Folks living paycheck to paycheck have no cushion for emergencies and now face dire circumstances. Folks who are housing unstable can’t pay rents or mortgages. And folks who do manage to keep a roof over their heads can’t afford the high cost of health care and medicine. Together, we can bridge those inequities and strengthen our system’s weaknesses. That’s why I’m running to continue serving as your state representative for Montana House District 84 Helena/East Helena.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I’ve been on the phone practically every day with constituents to find out how folks are doing during this public health emergency. Some good, some not so much. Our state employees are working tirelessly on essential systems, but capacities are overwhelmed by the massive demand. Montanans are forced to wait for unemployment benefits, public assistance, and other relief. Small businesses struggle to bridge the gap and stay afloat until loans arrive. Parents juggle working from home and helping children with online learning. Our systems and policies need improvement. We need to get high speed internet and connectivity to every corner of our state, mental health systems that work for communities, affordable housing and childcare, living wages with paid sick and family leave, and equal pay for equal work. I will work to implement these social and health care policies. I worked with my fellow legislators to get a lot done during my last three legislative terms. We passed Medicaid expansion, child sex abuse prosecution, mental health policies and funding, infrastructure funding, the water compact, Heritage Center, and more. Yet, there’s so much more to do to make sure all Montanans have equal opportunity to recover from this pandemic and succeed. Let’s strengthen policies for public health, other public programs, non-profits, small businesses, and public and private sector employees. Our state needs a 21st Century energy policy to stop the climate crisis, a nondiscrimination policy, and fair taxation and public revenues for an economy that works for everyone. Let’s help each other thrive.

Why should people vote for you?

Now more than ever, Montanans need strong, courageous leadership that stands up to special interests and serves the needs of all Montanans, especially those who struggle with their health or mental health, or face financial hardship, including paying the high price of medicines. One pharmaceutical company has dropped the monthly cost of insulin to $35 during the pandemic. I want to keep that price low. This is just one example of pandemic policies that I encourage us to continue. My service in the legislature has been about bridging inequities and improving people’s lives. I genuinely care about those I serve. I’ve worked hard with courage, dedication and conviction, and look forward to continuing that hard work if voters have me back for my fourth term. Just like about everything in our lives right now, voting looks different during COVID-19. One thing is certain—voting is your fundamental right in our democracy. It’s an honor to be a candidate for re-election. Be safe, strong and healthy. We’re all in this together. We’ll all rise together. I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you.

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Jon Jackson, Democrat

Age: 66

Address: PO Box 1823, East Helena, MT 59635

Contact info: Jon3@mt.net 406-227-5139

Education:

Graduated from Harrison High School in Harrison, Montana

Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Education with Minor in Counseling from Montana State University

Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College

Occupation: Retired from the United States Army and the Montana National Guard

Relevant experience: I have served on many boards and committees at both the local level and at the State level. In addition, throughout my professional career as a teacher and as a military officer I have extensive experience on how to deal with challenging situations. I can work with anyone, and I know how to research any issue to obtain what is needed to find the best solution to any issue or problem.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running as a Democratic Candidate for House District 84 to represent the people within my district and the citizens of Montana, and because of my strong belief and support for public education, for access to affordable health care for everyone, and to ensure equality for everyone. I want to work to remove barriers that prevent growth, and I will work to promote positive change.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My number one objective is to represent my District and all the citizens of Montana by working efficiently and effectively with all legislators. To bring forward to the Legislature, legislation that will ensure Montana’s public schools stay public, that all Montanans have access to health care, and to ensure all Montanans are treated equally.

Why should people vote for you?

I am a Montanan through and through. I was born in Bozeman, MT and raised on a farm and ranch near Harrison, MT. I graduated from Harrison HS and from Montana State University, and I served over 30 years in the Montana Army National Guard. On both my Dad’s and my Mom’s sides of the family, I am a fourth generation Montanan, and in fact, on my Dad’s Mom’s side of the family, I am a sixth generation Montanan. I will do all I can to fully represent everyone within the District and the State to the best of my ability. As Albert Pike said: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

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