Independent Record primary candidate surveys: Statewide races

Independent Record primary candidate surveys: Statewide races

From the Independent Record primary candidate surveys series
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U.S. SENATE

Bullock

Steve Bullock, Democrat

Age: 54

Address: Box 199, Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: info@stevebullock.com

Education: Helena High School, Claremont McKenna College, Columbia Law School

Occupation: State Employee (Governor)

Relevant experience: Governor of Montana (2013-2020), Attorney General of Montana (2009-2012); private practice attorney; tour boat driver (Gates of the Mountains)

Why are you running for this office?

I ran for governor in 2012 with one goal in mind: to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Over the last seven years, I've worked my level best to represent all Montanans and leave this place we call home better than I found it. In a time when our politics is more divided than ever, we've been able to accomplish a great deal for the people of our state. During my two terms, I worked across party lines to expand Medicaid to cover 90,000 additional Montanans, support our small, medium and larger businesses, make record investments in education, boost job training programs, build up Montana’s infrastructure and preserve Montanans’ access to public lands. We’ve also enacted some of the toughest campaign finance regulations in the country to fight the corrupting influence of money in our politics and elections.

Right now, Washington is broken and Montanans are fed up with the political games in our nation’s capital. As Governor, I’ve been able to find common ground with people that I don’t agree with one hundred percent of the time to improve and protect Montanans’ lives. I’m running for the Senate to continue the work I started as Governor, including increasing access to health care, creating more good-paying jobs, and keeping our public lands in public hands. I’m running for the Senate to make Washington work more like Montana.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I believe that we share more in common than what drives us apart — but people don’t see that when they look at what is happening in Washington, DC. Washington has become a place where talking has become a substitute for doing, and people are struggling because of that. We need leaders who will put their differences aside and do what is best for the American people, not what conveniently fits in partisan boxes.

I hope to make Washington work more like Montana, where people of all kinds find common ground to do the right thing and get things done. As Governor, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to expand access to health care, strengthen our economy, and invest in public schools, freeze college tuition and expand career training so our kids can build a future here. I will bring those Montana values and experiences to Washington and continue to do what is best for Montanans. I will make decisions based on what is right, not what is politically convenient or popular.

If we are going to make people believe in the system, we have to address the corrupting influence of money in our politics. Fighting dark money will continue to be a focus of mine in the Senate so that our government will start responding to the needs of the people, not corporations and special interests.

Why should people vote for you?

Growing up, the only reason I even knew there was a governor’s mansion in Montana was because I delivered newspapers to it. I never imagined that one day I’d be living there, serving the people of our state.

As someone who was born and raised in Montana, I know that this state that we live in is a gift. Throughout my life, Montana has provided me with incredible opportunities. I have spent my life fighting tirelessly for Montana families to have the same opportunities I had and protect our Montana way of life for our children and future generations.

In Montana, we are fiercely independent, but have a strong sense of community and care deeply about neighbors. With those Montana values in mind, as your Senator, I will stand up and do what is right for Montana families, not party leaders or special interests. I will work with both parties to get things done and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I will fight to make Washington work more like Montana and be a senator who represents the interests of all Montanans.

Mues

John Mues, Democrat

Age: 46

Address: 428 Halter Ln., Loma, MT, 59460

Contact info: john@muesformontana.com, 406-621-0508

Education: U.S. Naval Academy (BS of English, honors); London Business School (MBA); Naval Nuclear Power Program (U.S. Dept. of Energy-certified Nuclear Engineer Officer); Montana State University (Teaching Certificate)

Occupation: Senior Engineer in Energy Sector

Relevant experience:

  • Understand ALL Montana:
    • Lived in Eastern, Central, and Western Montana
    • 4th generation Montanan
  • National Security:
    • U.S. Nuclear Submarine Officer (4x deployed overseas; 2x permanently assigned overseas; > 20 Top Secret/SCI missions; Operation Iraqi Freedom task force supervisor; close collaboration with CIA, ONI, Special Forces; close collaboration with officials from >40 nations)
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Post-command Exercise Manager
  • Climate Change/Energy:
    • World-class expertise in various energy systems – from wind to fuel cells to nuclear to traditional
    • Domestic and international energy experience
  • Business/Economy/Job Creation:
    • Over decade in business sector
    • Provided pro bono business consulting to various groups, from organizations to micro-entrepreneurs
    • Understand global economy having worked overseas and having participated in multinational consortiums
  • Education
    • Former Montana High School Math and English Teacher
    • Direct experience in federally-designated low-income school district in Montana
  • Native Americans/Tribal Nations:
    • Grew up on tribal nation in Montana (Ft. Peck Indian Reservation)
    • Worked on tribal nation in Montana (Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation)
    • Lived/Worked on sovereign tribal nation in Montana
  • Unions
    • Union member (MFPE)
    • Parents both union members in Montana
  • Agriculture
    • Owned and improved 1,500 acre cattle ranch and farm in water-scarce, north-central Montana
    • Have lived in rural Montana in Eastern, Central, and Western Montana, and understand issues agricultural community faces
  • Health Care
    • First-hand experience with gross inequities in U.S. medical system
    • First-hand experience with universal health care systems in other nations
  • Immigration
    • Wife is immigrant from Sardinia

Why are you running for this office?

To bring a differentiated, principled, and strong voice to the floor of the U.S. Senate in order to set Montana and our country up for success in the 21st century. That includes making our economy work for all people, not merely the wealthiest among us, accelerating our transition to a clean energy economy, and solving our critical national security challenges, from North Korea to Russia.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Bring more prosperity, security, health, and real freedom to all Montanans and Americans.

Why should people vote for you?

The needs of Montana and our country are immense, requiring new thinking, new perspectives, new energy and commitment, new integrity. For example, Washington, D.C. – our U.S. Senate – requires more veterans with overseas deployment experience. It requires those with substantive business, education, energy, agriculture, and international experience. It requires someone who understands, due to growing up humbly in Montana, the needs of all Montanans and Americans. It does not need another career politician, independent of party.

Mike Knoles, Democrat

Mike Knoles has suspended his campaign. 

Daines

Steve Daines, Republican

Age: 57

Address: P.O. Box 1598 Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: info@stevedaines.com

Education: Montana State University (Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering)

Occupation: United States Senator for Montana

Relevant experience:

Current U.S. Senator for Montana; former U.S. Congressman for Montana, 28 years of private sector experience, including at RightNow Technologies, where I helped create over 500 high-paying Montana jobs and we turned it into Bozeman’s largest commercial employer.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running to fight for more Montana jobs, to rebuild our economy and to secure our healthcare system by ending reliance on China for critical personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals.

During this ongoing pandemic, I fought to secure funding needed to save small businesses that keep Montanans employed, for medical gear to protect our health care heroes, and ensured COVID-19 testing is free.

Before coming to Congress, I spent 28 years in the private sector solving problems and delivering solutions. In the rescue package passed by Congress, I led the plan to speed up the development of life-saving COVID-19 drugs by months - drugs that will be made right here in America.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on every Montanan and every sector of our economy. That’s why right now I am focused on solutions to rebuild the American economy, and end our reliance on foreign countries for life-saving drugs and personal protective equipment. We need to bring drug and medical supply manufacturing back home. More than one third of our imported antibiotics, and 70% of personal protective equipment, is produced in China which poses a national security risk. It’s time we manufacture these critical drugs and supplies here in America.

Why should people vote for you?

I graduated from MSU as a chemical engineer and spent 28 years in the private sector solving problems and creating jobs. I was trained to solve problems and that experience is why I’ve been recognized as one of the most bipartisan and effective members of Congress. I will always defend our Montana way of life, and stand up to Chuck Schumer and those who would try and use the current crisis to turn America into a socialist Country.

Driscoll

John Brian Driscoll, Republican

Age: 73

Address: 30 South Davis Street, Helena, MT 59601

Contact info: johndriscoll@mt.net

Education: Graduated Hamilton High School, Gonzaga University, Columbia University School of International Affairs and Latin America Institute, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, University of Montana Graduate School of Business, and U.S. Army War College.

Occupation: Wild-lands Firefighter including Smokejumper, Montana Army National Guard Officer last assigned to the Pentagon as Colonel on the Joint Staff of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Montana Legislator including House Majority Leader and Speaker of the Montana House of Representatives, Montana Public Service Commissioner and Storyteller.

Relevant experience: Wilderness work and Wild-land Fire Control; Legislator and Legislative Leader; Army Infantry, Intelligence, Armor, Planning and Staff Officer; National Electricity Policy and Research; Inter-operability of the Military Joint Operations Planning and Execution System (JOPES) and the Civilian Incident Command System (ICS).

Why are you running for this office?

I place our U.S. Constitution above my own well-being, personal loyalties or any political party. I have the proven capability to work with the interpersonal chemistry of a legislative caucus as I find it and the mental determination to check and balance our President as required by our constitution.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Montanans have always responded to the call of duty to protect and defend our U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Most recently they ask nothing in return other than a good faith effort to recover the 1587 fellow Americans still carried as POW-MIA. According to the National League of POW-MIA Families, as of January 21, 2020, the obstacles to POW-MIA recovery are too few intelligence analysts and repeated U.S. cancellations of planned recovery operations due to decreased funding. This regrettable situation has sent negative signals of disinterest to counterpart officials in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I will work to increase funding for POW-MIA recovery.

In addition I am acquiring practical experience with accepting no donations in the Primary Election Campaign, while holding my expenditures to less than the $5,000 threshold required to begin filing Campaign Finance reports. In the General Election Campaign I will accept from any legal donor, no more than the $1,740 filing fee I paid out of my own pocket to become an officially recognized candidate for the U.S. Senate. This allows any person’s continuing right to exercise free speech in the form of a campaign contribution, but equally limits contributions to the amount I as a candidate will accept. This will yield practical experience for new campaign finance legislation aiming to disqualify any candidate who accepts more than an amount equal to the filing fee from any one donor. The disqualifying offense would be the crime of graft, advancing one’s personal fortunes by leveraging one’s official position as a formal candidate. I expect this fundamental idea to gain more practical aspects once I’m afforded an opportunity by Montana’s voters to visit respectfully with all 99 colleagues in the U.S. Senate. I hope to help relieve them of the burden of constantly having to raise money, at times from special interests with issues under their consideration.

Why should people vote for you?

Montanans will vote for me for duty, honor and country. Republicans committed by their conscience to support Donald Trump, feel a duty to their conscience to insure he will be checked and balanced after he no longer needs their support, if he flip-flops on matters of abortion, gun rights and personal liberties. Democrats committed by their consciences to oppose Donald Trump, will honor our constitution’s structure for working across party lines if he is re-elected, by voting to change the interpersonal chemistry of the U.S. Senate Republican Caucus with a new Montana senator. Montanans who remain aloof from party politics, or politics in general, still care deeply for the fate of our country. As do I, they sense the truth of Republican Abraham Lincoln’s insight, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Larson

Daniel Larson, Republican

Age: 40 Years old

Address:

PO Box 996

Stevensville Montana 59870

Contact info: 

Email:Daniel.Larson@Danformontana.com

Phone: 406-381-0269

Web: www.DanforMontana.com

Twitter: @DanforMontana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanforMontana

YouTube: DanforMontana

Education:

University of Montana, 2004

B.S. in Business Administration University of Montana, 2006. M.S. in Business Administration

Occupation:

General Manager- Florence Ace Hardware, Eastside Ace Hardware

Relevant experience:

I have at least 22 job titles that have prepared me to represent Montana in the United States Senate. The truth is my experience does not make me the most qualified person in the State of Montana for this position. Just the most qualified in this race. In this country, we tend to believe that a politician is a certain type of individual, one born with political aspirations and a drive to climb the ladder of success and power to obtain high office.

I think the founders of this Nation envisioned a different path, a path for citizen legislators, faithful public servants willing to step off the farm, and use the wisdom gleaned through the trials and tribulations of the human experience. Armed with this wisdom and moral conviction as the essential tools to represent the needs of their countrymen in the federal government.

In my experience, I have provided bread on your table, meat in your belly, and clothes on your back. I have cooked your food, moved your furniture, loaded your luggage, built your homes, shoveled your roofs, and fixed your cars. I have been in your crawl spaces and attics, I have sold you mortgages, toilets, and power tools, and I played music at your weddings.

What prepares me more than any of these things is my use of resources. In life, I have been responsible for millions of dollars of resources and 10s of thousands of hours of human productivity. I led teams of people who made your vitamins, dental tools, and Candy. In these endeavors, I demonstrated the capacity to use resources wisely, which is a desperately needed skill set in our congressional delegation. Positive change happens when you inspire people to a common purpose, set a goal, and through hard work and determination, improve steadily over time. There is no shortage of things to work on. We just need the right group of problem solvers to get it done. I have raised my hand to be part of the team that works for you.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running because I am above all things a concerned father. In our Nation, there is simply too much suffering. As our politicians engage in corruption in plain sight, their political influence used a tool to divide us and distract us as a people. Think about how many of our families can no longer sit at a dinner table without arguing. Why is that? Why are we afraid of each other’s differences when we have so much in common? The Republican party needs new voices. Voices that seek to unite and not divide, voices that inspire, instead of perpetuating a culture of fear. I Intend to be one of those voices. I am running, so my children have a better future.

We do not have a shortage of great things to get done; we just need to change the conversation to deliver solutions.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

First, by winning this election, I will create a wave of change that demonstrates what future candidates should be like. This wave will be foundational in creating a new dialogue in Washington. A much needed productive dialogue. With this change, we can focus on the solutions to the biggest problems of our Nation is facing. In the next six years, I hope to:

• Lead our efforts to create an economy focused on value creation

• Reduce Inefficient government spending

• Shrink the tax burden on the American middle class

• Fight against economic injustice

• Restore the checks and balances, protect against executive overreach, and fight for an independent judiciary

• Strengthen 2nd amendment protections

• Weaken corporate influence on federal legislation and federal Judicial appointments

• Lead substantive criminal justice reforms

• Promote domestic production and domestic agriculture

• Advantage small businesses

• Improve our climate change conversation.

Why should people vote for you?

Republicans in Montana. Do you want to hold this seat? Vote for me, because I can build a broader base of support for the issues we care about. Governor Bullock is a substantial adversary, and I just do not see how a politician like Steve Daines will win re-election. Unless you want to hand your voice over to the Democratic establishment, I am your best option, let me grow the tent of the party through inspiration, not corporate PAC money.

Independents and Democrats in Montana. Are you tired of a binary choice between the lesser of two evils? Grab a Republican primary ballot. There are better voices out here than the Republican establishment picks, and it is not just me, this runs all the way down to your state legislators. Use your voice to shake up the system, fight back against the darker political forces. Montana’s choice in November should be a choice between good or better. It starts on the Republican primary ballot. Who knows, you might find yourself liking a new brand of republican in November.

Dennis Daneke, Green

Dennis Daneke provided the following statement in response to the survey questions: 

To all Montana voters: Please do not vote for me. Don’t vote for my Green Party opponent either. Your vote is a precious privilege and should never be wasted on a candidate that cannot possibly win. My opponent was recruited to siphon votes from Democrats and I was recruited to siphon votes from her. Judging from press reports, she feels she was treated unfairly by Governor Bullock and has a grievance. As a life-long union member and organizer I will give her the benefit of the doubt. However, I would also argue that the polling booth is not the place to fight grievances. Apparently, the Republicans do not think they can win elections based on their ideas or the character of their candidates. Consequently, they resort to dirty tricks like voter suppression and running siphon candidates. Don’t let them get away with it.

However, if you feel compelled to vote for a third-party candidate as some sort of protest, you should definitely vote for me. I have read the Green Party platform and whole-heartedly agree with their positions. I am a member of the Green Party. My wife and I live our lives as “green” as possible. Our property is landscaped with native vegetation. Our home is a passive solar design so the boiler infrequently turns on. We grow most of our own food and contribute any surplus to others. Rooftop solar panels provide more electricity than we use to run our home, and charge the our electric vehicle, and lawnmower and operate a drip irrigation system. We try to invest in green business. Hell, we make Kermit the Frog look yellow!

So if you really want to vote green, vote for the green guy.

Wendie Fredrickson, Green

Wendie Fredrickson did not respond to the survey.

U.S. HOUSE

Dooling

Joe Dooling, Republican

Age: 44

Address: 3855 Cedar Valley Road; Helena, Montana

Contact info: P. O. Box 1585; Helena MT 59624/ Joedooling.com / 406 431 3510

Education: BS Montana State University (98) in Agribusiness/ minor in Ag Econ.

Occupation: Rancher/ Farmer

Relevant experience:

I served as the Chairman of the Lewis and Clark County GOP for 8 years, giving me the designation of being one of the longest serving Chairs in the big seven counties. Additionally, I served on the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds Board for 8 years, during which time the Board successfully obtained voter approved funding to expand services and infrastructure. For 4 years, I served on the Montana Stockgrowers Association Foundation board. In 2017, I was appointed by President Trump to serve on the FarmService Agency Committee, a position I resigned from to enter this congressional race. In addition, I serve as the president of Yellowstone Strategies, a multifaceted consulting company focused on water, infrastructure funding, and advocacy.

Why are you running for this office?

In the last ten years Montana will have sent five congressmen to Washington DC. This makes no sense when we have only one voice. Montana has lots of needs, wants, and goals from the federal government. These goals are unachievable when the turn over rate is this high. While I support term limits, every two years is not enough time to get to know the system, or implement legislation that benefits Montanans. I have no wish to be the US Senator or the Governor, if elected I will serve my time and return to my ranch when Montanans vote someone else into office.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

As Montana’s Congressman I will move Montana forward, I will be the voice for Montana about Montana issues. I support our President. I support strong borders that protect Americans. I will advocate for health care reform that takes the power away from big pharma and puts the consumer in charge. I will introduce and support a farm bill that works for all farmers and ranchers. Our Forest Service needs reform where the locals directly impacted by forest legislation have a voice in what legislation is implemented, I will work to give them that voice. I stand for fiscal responsibility where, as a legislative body we adhere to principles of economic responsibility by building a balanced budget leading to economy recovery.

Why should people vote for you?

As Montana’s lone voice in Congress, I will bring my conservative leadership, fiscal discipline, and Montana Values to Washington D.C. to do the work of Montanan’s to guarantee our State’s future success. Now, more than ever, Montana needs a strong leadership. We need leaders who are not afraid to step up, make decisions, and work to implement those decisions. If we haven’t learned anything during the COVID-19 crisis, is that we need leaders who are proactive and visible. I will communicate with Montanans regularly so that they know what is happening with their tax dollars in DC. From hosting listening sessions, to providing weekly updates, Montanan’s will know what is happening in Washington. I am a third generation Montanan; I am a rancher and farmer who understands the value of a hard days work; I have a demonstrated history of successful leadership; and I am a fiscal conservative who will fight for all Montanans. Leaders need to be visible and vocal, both during times of crisis and times of tranquility. I am that leader and I would appreciate your vote.

Evankovich

John Evankovich, Republican

Age: 48

Address: 1160 Waukesha Street, Butte, MT 59701

Contact info: 406-490-7463 or Johnnyelectron1971@yahoo.com

Education: 1989 Butte High School, 1994 MSU Bozeman BS degree in Business, 2001 Montana JATC Journeyman/Master Electrician

Occupation: Electrician

Relevant experience: No previous political experience

Why are you running for this office?

When Greg Gianforte decided to give up the seat and run for Governor, he made the seat vulnerable to be lost to the Democratic Party’s primary candidate. If conservatives stay with the status quo, I fear we will lose the seat.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

1. Get more power back to the State of Montana at the federal level. 2. Create high paying jobs through manufacturing and healthy extraction of our state’s natural resources. 3. Protect the 2nd Amendment. Shall not be infringed! 4. I want term limits for Congress.

Why should people vote for you?

I am a union trained oil field electrician, born and raised in Butte, educated at MSU Bozeman, who has worked all over the state in an industrial, commercial, and residential capacity. I am a constitutionalist who is an Eisenhower moderate Republican and I genuinely believe in fairness and full transparency. Our state is very much a battle ground state and too many extremists on both sides are trying to turn our great state into a private vacation resort for the ultra-wealthy. A blue-collar Montana born and raised electrician is what Montana needs fighting the bureaucrats in Washington DC.

Lamm

Debra Lamm, Republican

Age: Not provided

Address: PO Box 1915, Livingston, MT 59047

Contact info:

info@DebraLamm.com

www.DebraLamm.com

Facebook.com/LammforCongress

Twitter/@DebraLamm

Instagram/DebraLammforCongress

Education:

Juris Doctorate (JD), Stetson University of Law

Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Emphasis Finance & Management, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

Bachelor of Science (BS), Biological Sciences & Secondary Education, Northern Illinois University

Occupation:

Health and Wellness Consultant

Retired Attorney

Relevant experience:

I am a problem-solver with a broad base of experience. I served in the Montana State Legislature and as the Montana Republican Party Chairwoman. My experience as a small business entrepreneur and in healthcare are especially relevant today and going forward. I have fought for transparency, education choice, life, second amendment, and freedom both in the legislature and as a citizen-activist across the state. Please go to DebraLamm.com and Facebook.com/LammforCongress for more information.

Why are you running for this office?

To listen and serve the people of Montana and preserve our way of life. We are at a tipping point in America--will we retain our freedom or become a socialist nation. The American Dream is at risk of dying. If freedom dies, so do our hopes and dreams, and those of our children and grandchildren.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

First of all, we need to get Congress working again. I plan to serve the people of Montana: our small businesses, farmers and ranchers, and our veterans. From my listening tour across the state, Montanans are concerned about education, federal debt, regulations, taking care of our veterans and healthcare. We are not likely to solve everything in two years, but we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Why should people vote for you?

Republicans who want to keep this seat will vote for me in the primary because I am the best candidate to take on the likely Democrat opponent in November. By removing the gender issue from the general election, voters can focus on issues and policies to decide whether we remain a free country or dive head on into socialism. I have the most broad-based experience in the private sector and public service. I am not a career politician and want to serve you in Congress to solve problems for Montanans and all Americans. It will be a clear choice.

McGinley

Mark J. McGinley, Republican

Age: 56

Address: PO BOX 293 Dillon, MT 59725

Contact info: mark@markmcginley2020.com

Education: Carroll College, 1988, Bachelor of Arts

Occupation:

Montana Youth Challenge, Lead Admissions Counselor

Relevant experience:

I believe the following experiences make me the best qualified candidate:

1) Veteran: 30-years of military service. Retired Army, Lieutenant Colonel.

2) Public School Teacher, Townsend, MT

3) School Board Trustee, Townsend, MT

4) Suicide Prevention Program Manager, Montana National Guard

5) Montana Youth Challenge, Dillon, MT

6) Prison ministry, Deer Lodge, MT

Why are you running for this office?

When you consider the depth and breadth of my resume, I am the best qualified candidate to represent Montana in Congress—Republican or Democrat.

Our federal government is in a state of near crisis. We live in a time of great anger, and this anger puts the nation at risk. My Mom used to say: we can disagree without being disagreeable. This is true as a family, and it is true for the nation as well. I want to serve in Congress because the nation needs people who are willing to serve with a cheerful heart, an open mind, and genuine good will.

As a Veteran, I understand national defense issues. As a teacher and a school board trustee, I understand the issues of public education. I have worked with Soldiers struggling with thoughts of suicide, and I currently work with At-Risk youth at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy.

I want to represent all of Montana. We have more in common than all those things about which we disagree. I will take a lifetime of public service to Washington, and I will be a true Montana representative.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My priorities will be the following:

1) To serve all of Montana by representing all Montanans.

2) To be a voice for Veterans. To support the physical and psychological needs of Veterans and their families.

3) To be an advocate for public education.

4) To reduce the size and scope of the federal government by returning authority and resources to state and local government.

5) To defend all human life.

Why should people vote for you?

I will represent all of Montana. I will always listen. I will always consider other points-of-view, and I accept accountability for my actions. We will disagree from time-to-time, but I am willing to face the people I serve and represent.

Rosendale

Matt Rosendale, Republican

Age: 59

Address: 1954 Hwy 16, Glendive, MT 59330

Contact info: info@mattformontana.com, 406-763-1234

Education: Queen Anne’s County High School

Occupation: Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance

Relevant experience: I have an extensive background in both business and real estate. I served in the Montana State Legislature from 2011 until 2016, when I was elected as State Auditor. During my tenure in the legislature I also served as the Senate Majority Leader.

Why are you running for this office?

Now more than ever, Montana needs a proven conservative leader who will work hard and put the needs of Montanans first. With only one Congressional District, it is essential that we elect a candidate who will stand up and fight for the interests of our state. I am committed to supporting our business community and working for all Montanans.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

If elected, my first priorities would be to work to rebuild our economy and control federal spending, enhance our healthcare system, and protect veterans’ benefits.

There is no question that the ongoing pandemic has been economically devastating. We will need to rebuild our economy and that means removing regulatory red tape for businesses, reining in out-of-control federal spending, and keeping government accountable.

The current list of unnecessary spending that was secretly passed as part of the COVID-19 emergency package was unfortunately not an anomaly. Time and again we see completely unrelated and questionable spending attached to critical legislation in order to get it through the legislative process. If elected, one of my first tasks will be to propose the “Truth in Legislation Act”. This legislation would limit the contents of a bill to only issues described in the bills title, which would help eliminate the practice of “buying” votes, reduce spending, and promote government transparency.

Developing our natural resources and protecting our environment are also key components of creating economic growth and are not mutually exclusive—both play a critical role in ensuring the health of our economy. I will prioritize opening Montana’s public lands that have been closed by the federal government, working to improve federal land management, and encouraging natural resource development in a way that respects the environment and fosters job creation.

As State Auditor, I have successfully expanded access to healthcare and reduced insurance premiums, while simultaneously cutting operating costs by 23%. I’d like to build on this success in Congress. I believe that everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions, should have access to quality, affordable healthcare—and that begins with lowering the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors and others who rely on prescription medications every day. Additionally, we need to expand Health Savings Accounts to allow individuals who pay out of pocket for health insurance and other healthcare expenses to access the same tax-exempt status as those who receive benefits from their employer.

As Montana’s Congressman, I would fight tooth-and-nail to make sure our veterans are receiving the benefits they have been promised. They certainly kept their promise to our nation, the very least we can do is keep ours.

Why should people vote for you?

First, I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve the people of Montana and I believe that I have accomplished a great deal in service to our state, both in my time as a member of the State Legislature and while leading the Auditors Office.

As your State Auditor, I reduced insurance premiums in the individual market by 15%, protected pre-existing conditions, and have never accepted a taxpayer funded pay raise. I have a proven track record of conservative leadership and results—and that’s what our state needs right now. As a member of the State Land Board I’ve cut onerous regulations which burdened our businesses and expanded access to over 45,000 acres of state public lands, while protecting environmentally sensitive areas and putting our natural resources to work for our state.

I know how to get things done, and if I make a promise, I keep it—which is why I am the only candidate for Montana’s Congressional seat that is endorsed by President Trump. Like President Trump, I keep my promises, and if you elect me to be your representative in Congress, I promise to always listen, to represent our principles, and to always defend our Montana way of life.

Stapleton

Corey Stapleton, Republican

Age: 52

Address: 2015 Eastridge Drive, Billings MT 59102

Contact info: press@coreystapleton.com

Education: B.S. Engineering, United States Naval Academy

M.A. Political Science, Temple University

M.S. Financial Services, The American College

Occupation: Montana Secretary of State

Relevant experience: Military Officer, Financial Advisor, State Senator, 4th generation Montanan

Why are you running for this office?

Since I enlisted into the Navy right out of Great Falls High School in 1986, I have been serving our state and nation. President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy nominated me to Annapolis, and I have volunteered for public service ever since. I served aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), and aegis cruiser USS Hue City (CG-66) and made several deployments overseas.

As a state senator, I understood firsthand how important it is to have effective legislators. Before being term-limited out of the state Senate, I was both the Republican Leader and the Chairman of the Legislative Campaign Committee in charge of recruiting new legislative candidates and setting policy for the Republican caucus.

I enjoyed both the political and policy successes from my time in the Montana legislature, and I would like to continue that legislative service at the national level. In my time in Helena, I served on Agriculture, Energy, and the Finance committees and would continue to work in those important areas on behalf of all Montanans in Washington, D.C.

As Secretary of State, I have increased the security of Montana’s elections, streamlined our entire Business Services division, consolidated our Office from four locations down to just one in the state Capitol, and saved millions of dollars. As congressman, I would look for further opportunities in our nation’s Capitol to lead on similar types of ‘good government’ reforms.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

There’s a common sentiment that a new congressman can’t accomplish very much, because the system is set up to reward seniority. I don’t believe that, and it has never been my experience in life. As a young state senator, I was named to the prestigious Heritage Foundation’s Legislative Leaders Council. If you are good enough, the world (and Congress) will make way for you!

I expect to make an immediate impact and emerge as both a policy and political leader for Montana and the United States. This is based upon my willingness to become a student of the legislative process and work with anyone and everyone who wants to improve our country—all the while respecting the U.S. Constitution.

As Montana’s only military veteran currently elected to statewide office, I hope to represent the millions of American veterans who serve and have served our country in uniform. I believe we should have more military veterans in Congress. I will be an advocate for national security, Department of Defense, and advocating for the military families who sacrifice daily for America’s freedom.

Lastly, I would like to bring the straightforward way we do business in Montana to Washington, D.C. There is a calmness, simplicity and authenticity that is missing back East. I’ll bring it!

Why should people vote for you?

My father served in the Army. I served in the Navy. My son now serves in the Marine Corps. My family has called Montana ‘home’ for over 100 years. My wife and I have raised our four children here. People in Montana know that I serve without conflict of interest, I’m educated to the issues, and I am fiercely loyal and patriotic to Montana and the United States.

I have been in leadership positions my entire life. I have used those positions to improve our government and advance the causes of freedom and prosperity. I always try to do the right thing, even when it is unpopular or politicized.

Montanans should vote for me if they want the best, most qualified congressman. We only get one seat in Congress. Let’s not waste it! I’m from Montana, and for Montana. I served my country, and I put people above politics.

Williams

Kathleen Williams, Democrat

Age: 59

Address: PO Box 548 Bozeman, MT 59771

Contact info: info@kathleenformontana.com - if this is internal, press@kathleenformontana.com

Education: BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources; MS in Recreation Resources

Occupation: Former Associate Director, Western Landowners Alliance; Former State Representative

Relevant experience: 3-term State Representative and a nearly four-decade career in natural resources and conservation with a specialty in water

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running to bring true, honest representation for Montana to the US House - something that’s been missing for far too long.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Fixing the patchwork of a healthcare system in our country, fighting for our veterans, fostering opportunity for everyone to craft and pursue their American dream, and protecting Montana’s outdoor heritage.

Why should people vote for you?

I’m the best candidate to ensure we can meet the needs of and advance opportunities for all Montanans, not special interests.

Winter

Tom Winter, Democrat

Age: 33

Address: P.O. Box 8248 Missoula, MT 59807

Contact info: tom@winterformontana.com

Education: Some college

Occupation: State Legislator

Relevant experience: Former volunteer EMT and small healthcare business owner. Current State Representative for Montana House District 96.

Why are you running for this office?

I got into politics because my state legislator wanted to kick over 50,000 Montanans off of their healthcare because he said they were "freeloaders." Ours and our family's health is not some partisan game. I have a sister with a chronic illness. She and all my neighbors deserve affordable healthcare. So, I ran for office knocking over 20,000 doors meeting my neighbors on their doorsteps hearing directly from them what they wanted to see out of their state government. I ended up flipping that 11-point Republican district and bringing my constituents concerns directly from their doorsteps with me to Helena. I wrote and carried 24 bills and passed 4 of them in a Republican-dominated chamber. But, I realized that for as much hard work we did and things we got done in the legislature we were still dependent on the federal government. So, I decided to run for Congress to win back a seat for the people of Montana to advocate policy changes for the benefit of all of us, not just corporations, special interests, and their high-powered lobbyists.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I hope to fight for all the Montanans who are struggling and not benefitting from our broken economy and political system. There's no reason why the richest country on earth should have a healthcare system that consistently places profits ahead of people, leaving us all with unaffordable and inaccessible healthcare. Congress has lost their way of who they are supposed to be fighting for. I aim to make our government work for Montanans. Whether that's healthcare for all, universal childcare, student loan debt relief, climate action - each and every solution being supported by our Representative should be for our benefit, not those with wealth and power. It's about time that Montana's working families got a seat at the table in the U.S. House.

Why should people vote for you?

If they want a leader that has a track record of fighting for all of us and getting things done, there's only once choice on either side of this race. At the state legislature I fought to lower our state property taxes, protect those with pre-existing medical conditions, get rid of scam junk insurance, allow us to register to vote online, make life-saving drugs more affordable, strengthen minimum wage laws, and a dozen other bills that put working Montanans and our families first. We were the first campaign in state history to unionize and lead by example by treating all workers with dignity and respect. When the pandemic hit our state and we heard reports of frontline workers not having personal protective equipment (PPE), our campaign stepped up and brought thousands of respirator masks into Montana. We connected PPE to rural fire departments, sheriff's offices, rural and native health clinics, coroner offices, and any need we could find across the state. We stepped up where our lone Congressman and other campaigns were missing. I humbly ask for your vote for Congress so that I can get to work for you.

GOVERNOR

Cooney

Mike Cooney, Democrat

Age: 65

Address: Helena, Montana

Contact Info: contact@cooneyformontana.com

Education: Bachelor of Arts - Political Science, University of Montana

Occupation: Lieutenant Governor of Montana

Relevant experience: Lieutenant Governor (2015 - present), Deputy Commissioner and Division Administrator, Montana Department of Labor & Industry (2006 - 2015), State Senator, President of the Senate (Helena, 2007 - 2009), Executive Director, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (2001 - 2006), Montana Secretary of State (1989 - 2001), Office of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (1980 - 1988), State Representative (Butte, 1977 - 1980)

Why are you running for this office?

I’ve spent my entire life fighting for the people of Montana: as a State Representative from Butte, as Secretary of State for twelve years, and as President of the State Senate. Now I have the honor of serving as Governor Steve Bullock’s Lieutenant Governor.

Together we’ve made real progress for the people of Montana: increasing access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion, protecting our public lands, clean air and clean water, growing our economy and supporting good-paying jobs, making record investments in our public education system, standing up to dark money and special interests, and leveling the playing field for hard-working middle-class Montana families.

This election is protecting all of that progress, building on it, and tackling the new and unprecedented challenges that lie ahead. Montana is my home. It’s a place with values worth protecting and a way of life worth fighting for. There’s simply too much at stake for me to sit on the sidelines.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

We’ve got a heck of a lot of work ahead of us to protect our Montana values and bring more opportunity to Montana. As Governor I’m committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to:

• Bring down the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs and holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable;

• Tackle the threat of climate change to our public lands, clean air and clean water;

• Keep dark money and out-of-state special interests out of politics and out of our elections;

• Grow our economy and support more good-paying jobs for Montanans—in rural and urban areas and on tribal reservations;

• Increase access to public lands and protecting them from special-interest attempts to sell them off to the highest bidder;

• Continue to invest in our world-class public education system, including a publicly-funded pre-K program;

• Support Montana farmers and ranchers, invest in value-added agriculture and continue to open up new opportunities for Montana-made products overseas; and

• Foster an inclusive and open Montana that values and protects the dignity and rights of LGBTQ+ Montanans.

I know we can move Montana forward and create more opportunities for future generations because I’ve done it. But we also know wealthy special interests continue to have too much influence in our politics and there are powerful forces trying to move Montana in the wrong direction. As Governor I will use the power of my veto pen to stop any and all attacks on a woman’s right to choose, on workers’ rights and on voting rights and our democracy.

These are the values I’ve held my entire career and the priorities I will bring with me to the Governor’s Office. I’m ready to hit the ground running on day one of serving as Montana’s next Governor.

Why should people vote for you?

Montanans deserve a leader in the Governor’s Office who will fight for our values and for hardworking Montana families, not special interests or big corporations. I’ve spent my life fighting for the people of Montana. I know how to bring people together to get things done without compromising my values.

Our next Governor is going to face new challenges and it will take tested leadership and experience to tackle them head on. Montanans have trusted me to get the job done and I have a proven record of results. They know where I stand. And I’m proud to have the support of thousands of Montanans—including our state’s Democratic leaders Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester—in all 56 counties across the state. We’ve built a strong statewide campaign with the resources, the energy and the momentum Democrats need to keep our Montana values, and our Democratic values, in the Governor’s Office.

I’m asking Montanans to trust me again with your vote in this Democratic primary.

Williams

Whitney Williams, Democrat

Age: 49

Address: P.O. Box 7013; Missoula, Mt 59807

Contact info: harry@whitneyformontana.com; 406-880-4788

Education: BA Political Science, University of Montana 1994

Occupation: Founder + CEO, williamsworks

Relevant experience:

I’m a sixth-generation Montanan and ​ businesswoman who founded my own, successful company nearly 20 years ago that works alongside Fortune 500 companies and charities to solve complex problems – just like those Montanans face every day. With the same grit and ​ toughness ​ that was passed down from my ancestors, I have helped law enforcement protect kids from sex trafficking, managed a global initiative to increase the number of girls attending school, and opened new markets for farmers trying to rebuild after disaster. I build bridges between the public and private sectors, I listen, and I work with fierce urgency to solve problems. My parents, both tremendous public servants, instilled in me the value of service and place: My father, Pat​, served as our congressman for 18 years, and my mom, Carol, served in the Montana Legislature, as both Senate minority and majority leader.

Why are you running for this office?

Montana is at a crossroads, facing an urgent set of new challenges:

  • Health insurance companies and Big Pharma are taking advantage of Montana families, and politicians in Washington are sitting on the sidelines.
  • Public education is under attack by those who want to take our hard-earned tax dollars to fund private and religious schools.
  • Women’s healthcare funding is being cut and freedom for women to make their own healthcare choices are threatened.
  • Wealthy out-of-staters and corporate interests are trying to make Montana their personal playground and are taking advantage of our state.

Amid all this, we face a long road to economic recovery once we beat the coronavirus. These new challenges ​ will require a new skill set in the Governor’s office, and someone who shares Montanans’ core values.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I will be a governor for all of Montana, raising prosperity for all, while protecting what makes our state great. We’ll accomplish four essential tasks:

  1. First, we’ll tackle the ​high costs of healthcare, and drive down the cost of prescription drugs so healthcare issues don’t bankrupt Montanans or drive them out of business.
  2. Second, across Montana we’ll expand access to ​ quality public education, from pre-kindergarten, to affordable community college, four-year programs, and career and apprenticeship training.
  3. Third, as we rebuild our economy, we’ll focus on creating ​ good-paying jobs ​ and boosting business, and address the negative economic impact of wealthy out-of-staters coming in, buying up land and taking it out of production, and driving up the cost of housing.
  4. And fourth, we'll protect our greatest asset, Montana -- our ​clean air, clean water and public lands ​ -- so everyone has equal access to the natural treasures in the Last Best Place that we Montanans love.

Why should people vote for you?

Montana is at a crossroads. Montana families need bold, new leadership with executive experience, someone tough enough to take on the new challenges facing our state, such as coronavirus. As a successful​ businessperson, I have solved complex problems with Fortune 500 companies around the world. I’m a proud sixth-generation Montananan, and a product of Montana public education. I’ll work with the federal government when I can and stand up to it when I need to. Montana will need to do more on its own. I believe that the government can and must work to make people’s lives better. I work with fierce urgency. I’ll bring all voices to the table and work with folks of all backgrounds to improve the lives of all Montanans, while making sure that our Montana remains Our Montana. I fight hard for what I believe in, and will ​ fight hard ​ for Montana families by bringing big, bold ideas to Helena. I would be honored to represent the place that we all call home -- Montana.

Fox

Timothy C. Fox, Republican

Age: 62

Address: P.O. Box 1557, Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: 406-200-8217; info@foxforgovernor.com; www.FoxforGovernor.com

Education: Bachelor Degree, Geology - University of Montana, 1981) | Juris Doctor - University of Montana (1987) | Masters in Public Administration - University of Montana (2018).

Occupation: Attorney General of Montana

Relevant experience:

Native Montanan, Born in Billings and raised in Hardin

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle.

Attorney General of Montana (2013 - 2020)

Attorney, Public and Private Practice (1987 - 2020)

Admitted to Practice Law, United States Supreme Court, all Montana courts

Why are you running for this office?

It’s simple: I love Montana. I was born here, I grew up here, and I raised my family here. Montanans are extraordinary people, and countless numbers of them have taught, mentored, encouraged, supported, and loved me and my family through the years. I am passionate about public service, and seeking elected office is all about paying back and paying forward all that this state and her people have done for me. Montana’s natural beauty is unlike anything in the world, and I want to invest my time and energy into making sure future generations of Montanans can worship, learn, work, achieve, play and grow in this Last Best Place.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Montana unquestionably faces many challenges, but I know our best days are yet to come. Unfortunately, our State has yet to reach its full potential, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will make achieving that potential much more difficult. As Montana’s governor, I hope to bring Montanans together, just as I’ve done as attorney general, to listen to one another, and to collaboratively solve the problems that lie ahead.

Government cannot be all things for all people. My administration will ensure government lives within its means, that tax dollars are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible, and that we focus on providing only those services which the government should provide.

My administration will work to enhance public health and public safety by addressing the state’s substance abuse and mental health crises. We will work to enhance public access to our public lands, preserve our state's most precious outdoor treasures, and reduce unnecessary regulations to enhance our economy and create new jobs.

Providing world class public and private education opportunities for all Montanans, including those seeking career and technical education, will be a priority under my administration. We will focus on better healthcare outcomes, and will work to reduce the cost of healthcare while protecting the patient/physician relationship. We will also bring educators, government, industry, businesses, communities, and families together to solve our state’s workforce shortages.

My running mate, former Republican legislator and former world strategy advisor to John Deere Corporation, Jon Knokey, and I have worked with hundreds of Montanans over the past ten months to study and create substantive draft policy strategies in fifteen policy areas. We call this effort “Montana United, A Vision for the Future.” We’ve posted these strategies on our web page at FoxForGovernor.com, and we invite all Montanans to read the strategies and join in the conversation. We value your input, and we’d appreciate your ideas and constructive criticism.

Why should people vote for you?

The challenges ahead call for leaders who unite Montanans, exercise virtuous character, and work toward transcendent purposes for the good of present and future generations of Montanans. No other candidates in the race for governor and lieutenant governor bring with them such a wide range of Montana-grown, Montana-first qualifications and a track record of unifying people to successfully achieve substantive results, both in the public and private sectors. And to spice things up a little, I’m a Montana Grizzly, and my running mate Jon Knokey is a Montana State Bobcat. Together, we are a “Ticket United!”

During my time as attorney general, I’ve worked with thousands of Montanans to fight sex trafficking, instill confidence in our justice system, protect Montana’s sovereignty, address the issue of missing and murdered persons, create the largest health foundation in our state, protect children and the most vulnerable Montanans, draft and pass public safety legislation, protect consumers, lead the effort to address the substance abuse crisis, uphold the rule of law, and defend our state and national constitutions.

Jon and I sincerely wish to continue to serve Montana with passion and distinction, and we’d be grateful for the opportunity to do so as your governor and lieutenant governor. Thank you.

Gian

Greg Gianforte, Republican

Age: 59

Address: Bozeman

Contact info: info@gregformontana.com

Education: Bachelor of Science in engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology; Master of Science in electrical engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology

Occupation: U.S. Congressman representing Montana

Relevant experience: engineer, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist

Why are you running for this office?

My wife, Susan, and I have been blessed to enjoy the American dream. We raised our four kids in Bozeman. In a spare bedroom in our home, we started a business, RightNow Technologies. It grew to become the largest commercial employer in town, creating over 500 high-paying Montana jobs.

I’ve spent my life creating jobs, solving problems, and serving others. It’s what I know how to do. And it’s what I want to do for Montana.

After talking with hundreds of people across our state, I heard a clear message: Montana needs a governor with strong business leadership experience who has created high-paying jobs here in our state.

Too many Montanans across our state have told me their kids and grandkids moved away for better opportunities – better jobs for better pay.

Sadly, our state’s most valuable export is our kids and grandkids. We must reverse that trend.

We must create greater opportunities and more good-paying jobs for Montanans to thrive here. When we do, our kids and grandkids will stay here or return, and the American dream will be within greater reach to more Montanans.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

We face a serious challenge. The coronavirus outbreak has threatened the health and safety of Montanans, but it’s also threatened our livelihood. Too many folks find themselves out of work and without a paycheck through no fault of their own. Too many small businesses have had to close their doors, because the coronavirus has shut down our economy.

My top priority as governor is to get our economy moving again, get Montanans back to work in good-paying jobs, and help our small businesses rebuild and thrive. As the only candidate who has built a business and created good-paying jobs here in Montana, I know what it takes, and I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and start working on it immediately.

I’m committed to creating an environment where businesses can thrive, grow, and create good-paying jobs. We must peel back burdensome, unnecessary regulations that hold back the pistons that drive our Montana economy – agriculture, energy, mining, timber, natural resources, high tech, and travel, tourism, and hospitality.

I’m committed to protecting our way of life. I will protect our freedoms and liberties, particularly our First and Second Amendment rights. I’ll also protect one of the things that makes Montana special – our public lands. We must keep our public lands in public hands and increase access to them.

I’m committed to bringing down the cost of health care and prescription drugs as well as ensuring more Montanans have access to high-quality, affordable care.

I’m committed to improving education, ensuring resources get to the classrooms and to our teachers and improving trades education so more Montanans have the skills they need to succeed.

I’m committed to protecting our communities from crime and drug use. Meth use and opioid misuse have impacted far too many Montanans. Addiction hurts not only the addict, but also the addict’s family, friends, and communities. We must ensure addicts have access to treatment, and we must enforce existing laws and enact stricter ones against the criminals that push drugs into our communities.

I’m committed to making state government work for Montanans again. The business Susan and I built in Bozeman focused on customer service. State agencies must also be focused on providing good customer service. Part of that means bringing new leadership and greater accountability to state agencies.

Why should people vote for you?

We face a very challenging time. People are hurting. There is great uncertainty.

We have faced serious challenges before, and I’m confident we will get through this crisis better and stronger on the other side. We’ve seen what Montana and Montanans can achieve when we combine our work ethic with the right leadership.

As the only candidate for governor of either party to build a business and create high-paying jobs here, I’ll bring my business leadership experience to the governor’s office on day one.

I know better days are ahead for us. If you share my positive, hopeful vision for Montana’s future, I hope you’ll join me, and I ask for your vote.

Doc

Al “Doc” Olszewski, Republican

Age: 57 years old

Address: PO Box 8891, Kalispell, MT 59904

Contact info: info@alformontana.com

Education: Graduate of C.M. Russell High School (1980), Carroll College (1984), University of Washington Medical School (1988), US Air Force Wilford Hall Orthopedic Residency (1995), University of Texas Health Science Center Sports Medicine Fellowship (1998).

Occupation: Independent Orthopedic Surgeon and a small business owner in Northwest Montana for over 20 years.

Relevant experience: I have 13 years of military leadership experience in the United States Air Force as a Flight Surgeon and Rapid Mobility Trauma Surgeon. I have six years of legislative experience. I am the current State Senator of Senate District 6 since 2016. I am the former State Representative for House District 11, from 2014 to 2016. I am a Healthcare policy expert and have advocated for affordable healthcare for 20 years. I am a small business owner for over 20 years.

Why are you running for this office?

Montana needs a steadfast leader to guide Montana through these uncertain times created by the ravages of this Coronavirus pandemic and our Governor’s response to it. As an Air Force veteran, a medical doctor and an experienced state legislator, I have the unique qualifications and experience necessary to lead Montana out of the greatest economic and health crisis we have experienced since the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu. I will work with the Montana Legislature as a true equal partner to create new laws and remove old burdensome regulations that suppress our businesses, our economy and our people. I will actively manage our State agencies to ensure that they serve all Montanans with a sense of urgency and compassion. I will work with our County commissioners to customize our state’s Coronavirus response to fit each county’s specific needs while adhering to the Montana and US Constitutions. I am the best governor candidate to lead Montana through this crisis and its aftermath.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

First and foremost, we must keep the State of Montana and our people financially solvent. Due to the current collapse of Montana businesses, agriculture, and natural resource development, Montana State’s revenue collection is devastated. As your next Governor, I will work with the legislature to provide tax relief to all Montanans, eliminate the bureaucratic waste and abuse of our taxpayer money, and open the Coal Trust Fund if necessary, to save our people.

Despite this Coronavirus fiscal crisis, I will lead the efforts to provide significant property tax relief as one of my top priorities. Montana must freeze and then fix our property tax system. Property taxes are killing every day Montanans, before the arrival of COVID-19. We should not have to essentially “rent” our private property from the government.

As your next Governor, I have the plan to make healthcare affordable and accessible again for Montanans everywhere. Unlike my opponents, I have the proven track record of creating legislation. I am also the only candidate who understands the complex medical system and how to fix it. During the 2019 legislative session, I sponsored two innovative healthcare regulation bills that would have lowered the costs of health insurance premiums and the cost of prescription medications. Unfortunately, these bills were killed in committee by the legislators who championed Medicaid Expansion and vetoed by Gov. Bullock, respectively. As your next Governor, we will pass these two bills into law. Furthermore, we will continue to protect Montanans with pre-existing health conditions, end the practice of surprise billing and deliver true transparency to Montana’s healthcare system.

Why should people vote for you?

Perilous times demand steadfast leaders. Amid a global pandemic with no clear end in sight, Montana business operations grinding to a halt, and the economic stability of “Main Street Montana” teetering over the fiscal cliff, Montana needs an experienced leader to guide our state through this time of adversity. I am that leader. My qualifications and experience are broad and deep and are just what Montana needs in these times.

My military service and training has prepared me to lead during times of natural disaster. My medical education and experience as a trauma surgeon qualify me to recognize and rapidly implement necessary solutions to mitigate the ongoing spread of Coronavirus in Montana. My business experience running a successful independent orthopedic surgical clinic gives me the insight to understand what regulatory relief business owners require to protect their employees and to keep their businesses alive. My legislative experience, political insight, and ability to shepherd legislation effectively through the Montana Legislature sets me apart from all other gubernatorial candidates.

As a proven trustworthy public servant and small business owner with over 30 years serving our Country, our State, and our People, I understand the true meaning of Duty, Service, and Sacrifice. Montana should not and cannot take the selection of Montana’s next Governor lightly. Our lives, fortunes, and freedom depend on it. I would be honored to earn your vote. I look forward to continuing my public service as your next governor of Montana.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Bowen

Bowen Greenwood, Republican

Age: 48

Address: PO Box 1597, Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: info@GreenwoodForMontana.com

Education: BA, political science, Georgetown University.

Occupation: Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court

Relevant experience: Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court, former press secretary in the Secretary of State’s office.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running for Secretary of State because I have a passion for election law. I want to see Montana’s elections conducted openly, honestly, and fairly.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I want to work toward strengthening Montana’s voter ID requirements. We use a photo ID for every other significant thing we do in society, we should be using it for voting too.

I want to protect the integrity of our elections, preserve Montana’s paper ballots, and defend the right of every single Montanan to vote in person, at the polling place, on election day if they choose.

Why should people vote for you?

As a former Press Secretary in the Secretary of State’s office, I know how it works. I can walk in and start making effective change on day one. As your elected, Republican Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court, I have experience running a state office calmly, without drama, and under budget. I care deeply about bringing a photo ID to vote, election integrity, and preventing voter fraud.

Jacobson

Christi Jacobsen, Republican

Age: 44

Address: PO Box 485, Helena MT 59601

Contact info: info@christijacobsen.com

Education: B.A. Political Science from Carroll College, M.A. Public Administration from University of Montana

Occupation: Deputy Secretary of State of Montana

Relevant experience: I have over 20 years of combined public and private sector experience. I currently serve as the Deputy Secretary of State. In the last three years we have successfully improved services to business and voters while reduced government and spending. We were first in the nation to go completely digital with business filings, offered businesses to file 24/7 and on their mobile phone. As a result, we eliminated 50,000 errors on business filings, reduced staff by a third, consolidated government leases from 4 locations to 1, and saved millions of dollars. We served our voters by strengthening the integrity of our elections. We completed a mail ballot improvement project that reduced the number of mismatched signatures on mail ballots. We made our elections more secure by being one of the first in the nation to implement the best security practices including two party authentication.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for Secretary of State because I am the most qualified candidate that represents Montana values and will best serve Montana voters and businesses. The current Secretary of State endorses me as his replacement and encouraged me to run for this office. I promise not to job hop. I was born, raised, and educated in Montana. I raised my own family in Montana. I have been doing the Deputy Secretary of State job, so there is no learning curve to slow down or reverse the progress of our services.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I would like to build on the foundation that we already built and protect the Constitution. I will replace a vulnerable 20 year old elections system, oppose automatic on-line voter registration which is the gateway to illegal immigrants voting, protect the right for voters who like to vote in-person at the polls, advocate to roll back same day voter registration, and continue to reduce government. As a member of the Land Board, I will support all efforts to responsibly develop our natural resources and reduce bureaucracy.

Why should people vote for you?

I commit to the people of Montana to loyally serve and uphold the state’s values through election integrity and helping businesses thrive. I support and represent the current conservative agenda.

5949bac0b6b2a.image.jpg

Brad Johnson, Republican

Age: 69

Address: P.O. Box 1596

Helena, MT 59624

Contact info: VoteBradJohnson.com

bradleysjohnson@live.com

406-422-5933

Education: B.S. and M.S. in agriculture from the University of Illinois

Occupation: Chairman, Montana Public Service Commission

Relevant experience: Served as Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and Chairman of the PSC from 2015 to date.

Why are you running for this office?

My interest in and commitment to the Secretary of State's office is long standing. We need an experienced and steady hand on the helm at the SOS office and because I can truly hit the ground running when elected.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I will continue to enhance the security and accessibility of our election, streamline business services and modernize the management of Montana's Administrative rules.

Why should people vote for you?

Because I have the most experience, a real record of accomplishment and have proven my electability with Montanans.

5ea3123cd54b8.image.jpg

Forrest Mandeville, Republican

Age: 35

Address: PO Box 337, Columbus, MT 59019

Contact info: ForrestMandeville@gmail.com, (406) 690-1933

Education: MPA, Montana State University – Billings; BA Political Science, Point Loma Nazarene University

Occupation: Land Use Planner

Relevant experience: Montana State House of Representatives, 2015-present; Chair, House State Administration Committee

Why are you running for this office?

Montana needs a Secretary of State who has the experience working with stake-holders on election issues in the legislature, will protect election integrity, has personal business experience, and understands the importance of natural resource development. I am the only candidate that checks all of these boxes.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

In elections, I will support stronger voter ID laws, rolling back election-day voter registration to at least the Friday prior to the election, and protect the right to vote in person at an accessible polling place. As a small businessman I will ensure excellent customer service and a seamless business registration and reporting system. On the land board I will make sure that our state trust lands are properly developed using appropriate means, such as logging, grazing, and natural resource development.

Why should people vote for you?

I am the only candidate that has the combination of legislative experience, is a small business owner, and the understanding of how we should properly develop our state lands. I am a fourth-generation Montanan, a husband, and a father to three young children. I truly care about our State’s future and my professional and legislative track record proves this fact.

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Scott Sales, Republican

Age: 59 Years old

Address: 5200 Bostwick Rd. Bozeman, MT 59715

Contact info: ScottSalesforMontana@gmail.com

Education: BBA Industrial Business Boise State University 1982

Occupation: Retired: High Tech business career (Purchasing and Sales): Hewlett-Packard 1982-85, Extended Systems1986-2001, Cottonwood Custom Haying 1994-Present

Relevant experience: Montana House of Representatives 2003-2010, Montana Senate 2013-2020 Speaker of the House 2007-08, House Minority Leader 2009-10, President of the Senate 2017-20. I was elected by my peers on 4 of my 8 legislative sessions to the top leadership position and on 3 occasions was the presiding officer, only individual in Montana history to do so.

Why are you running for this office?

The right of citizens to vote is one of the constitutional cornerstones of our Republic and needs to be continually protected. Maintaining the integrity and security of our election system will be my top priority. I have been personal blessed to be an American citizen and a resident of Montana and I continue to feel compelled to contribute back to our society thru Public Service.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Maintain and improve upon the integrity and security of our election system. Continue the fiscally responsible management of the day to day operations of the Secretary’s office. After visiting 46 of the 56 count election officials I have repeatedly heard that they would like to see the communication channels between the counties and the Secretary’s office improved. I will make it a priority to restore the partnership between these two entities. Bring a voice to the Land Board that values resource development and agricultural uses of our state lands, while allowing as much public access as possible.

Why should people vote for you?

I have the most diverse background of any of the candidates running for Secretary of State. I have over 20 years of private sector business experience and I’m the only candidate that has any connection to the agricultural community. I currently own and operated a small custom haying business in Gallatin County and for over 20 years I raised a small set of cattle. I also have had a professional big game guides license and still guide elk hunting, in the fall, as time allows. And finally, I’m fairly well known political commodity. I have served in the Montana Legislature since 2003, 8 years in both the House and the Senate and I’m the only person to be elected by my peers to be both Speaker and President. Over 100 current and former members of the legislature have endorsed my run for Secretary of State. They trust my judgement and I hope that you will too.

Kurt Johnson, Republican

Kurt Johnson did not respond to the survey and could not be reached.  

ATTORNEY GENERAL

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Jon Bennion, Republican

Age: 41

Address: 5 West Cherry St, Clancy, MT 59634

Contact info: info@bennionforag.com; www.bennionforag.com; Facebook: Jon Bennion for Attorney General

Education: Bachelors and Law Degrees from the University of Montana

Occupation: Chief Deputy Attorney General

Relevant experience: Fifteen years of legal experience overall with half of that in the Attorney General’s Office. I have experience in handling a wide variety of cases involving issues ranging from criminal law, constitutional law, natural resource litigation, consumer protection cases and more. Having worked in the Office for more than seven years, I won’t need on the job training like my primary opponent who decided to run for this office after only five months after being elected to another job.

Why are you running for this office?

Montana needs to keep an experienced, conservative person in the Attorney General’s office to provide leadership on critical public safety issues, fight back against government overreach, look out for Montana’s economic interests, and protect our most vulnerable citizens.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

To address our crime rate, we need to comprehensively deal with our substance abuse problem, which includes abuse of illegal drugs (such as methamphetamine), prescription drugs, and alcohol. This must be done by more collaboration with government, non-profits, churches and employers to strengthen efforts such as treatment, enforcement, and prevention.

The State must also be even more active in litigation that prevents us from managing the public lands around us. In the Attorney General’s Office, I have been a part of providing a voice for the state when groups sue to stop important management project aimed at improving our forests’ health, protect public access, create jobs in our lumber mills, and protect our drinking water. The Attorney General’s Office should intervene in more cases to ensure the State and its citizens have a voice in these lawsuits.

Just as I have done with the current Attorney General, I plan to continue to fight back against government overreach at all levels: federal, state, and local. We need an Attorney General that will continue to fight the battle against the State of Washington blocking Montana’s coal from going overseas. Without a check on Washington’s overreach, good-paying union jobs will be lost and revenues that fund our schools and infrastructure will be lost.

Why should people vote for you?

I am pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and a fiscal conservative. One reason I am a Republican is that I don’t believe government can solve everyone’s problems. I do believe there are areas where government can tackle important issues. When you elect public servants who set the right priorities, execute those priorities without unnecessary government waste, and avoid delving into issues where there is little chance of success, we can see progress.

I have a record of accomplishment when it comes to passing important legislation. I have also been able to forge relationships with people of all parties and backgrounds to solve problems where public servants can play a role.

Out of 50 bills I helped draft and support, 48 became law. These bills included priorities like passing some of the strongest human trafficking bills in the country, ending loopholes in our DUI laws, dealing with the backlog of sexual assault kits that accumulated under previous AG administrations, My opponent spent four terms in the Legislature and has very little to show for it besides blocking infrastructure bills, opposing DUI legislation, and fracturing the Republican caucus.

I will focus on the important work of the Attorney General’s Office every single day without being distracted by running for another office before I’m term limited. There is no one better prepared and ready to go on day one to ensure Montanans continues to have an advocate for them on the issues that truly impact their lives. If they want a career politician who can’t hold down a job, they can vote for my opponent.

During my campaign, I have visited every corner of this state and done my best to meet people interested in the Attorney General’s race. I invite everyone to go to my Facebook page (Jon Bennion for Attorney General) or go to my website to learn more about me: www.bennionforag.com. After you read up more about me, I would ask for your vote in the primary election.

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Austin Knudsen, Republican

Age: 39

Address: P.O. Box 624, Culbertson, MT 59218

Contact info: (406) 561-8964, austin@austinformontana.com

Education: BS, BA, Montana State University. JD, University of Montana School of Law

Occupation: Roosevelt County Attorney

Relevant experience: In 2010, I was elected to the Montana House of Representatives, and served my district for two of my four terms as Speaker of the House. Now, living under the laws that I helped pass in the Legislature, I’m the Roosevelt County Attorney and a full-time criminal prosecutor. I deal first-hand with the severe methamphetamine and violent crime problems in Montana. Additionally, I’ve had over a decade of real-world legal practice in Montana. I spent 10 years in private law practice in northeast Montana: first at a small firm in Plentywood, then opening my own law practice in my hometown of Culbertson. During that time, I’ve represented farmers, ranchers, neighbors, and small businesses, and handled just about every type of legal question imaginable. I’m the only candidate in the race for Attorney General with the real-world prosecutorial experience that is necessary for Montana’s top lawyer.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running for Attorney General because Montana needs an aggressive, conservative criminal prosecutor as the top law enforcement official. We know that Mexican drug cartels are flooding our state with toxic methamphetamine and other dangerous drugs, and this has led to a sharp increase in violent crime in Montana since 2013 (36% according to the U.S. Department of Justice). My primary opponent, the current Chief Deputy Montana Attorney General, has responded to these problems by growing state government and giving pay raises in Helena. This has done ZERO to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and violent crime. We need an Attorney General who has actually set foot in a courtroom and worked with law enforcement, not simply a Helena bureaucrat. I want to redirect assets to the county and city prosecutors and local law enforcement who are dealing with the drug crisis on the front lines.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I want to decrease the violent crime rates in Montana. The only way we accomplish this is by stemming the flow of methamphetamine pouring into our state. This can only be done by working with the Legislature and our new Governor to redirect funds away from Helena and out to the local and county levels. Local sheriffs, police chiefs, and criminal prosecutors have a real need for resources and know how to use them to have the best possible impact on their communities. I also want to reduce the size of the Department of Justice bureaucracy in Helena. The DOJ budget has ballooned from $85 million in 2012 to nearly $106 million today, while at the same time we’ve seen a drastic increase in violent and drug crimes. Something doesn’t add up there, so examining the bureaucracy will be one of my top priorities.

Why should people vote for you?

I am an aggressive, conservative, experienced leader. I’m the only candidate for Attorney General who is a practicing criminal prosecutor in Montana. Every day, I work with my local sheriff’s office, tribal police, and Montana Highway Patrol troopers fighting the scourge of meth and the violent crime it creates. I prosecute criminals, take them to jury trials, and convict them. Quite simply, none of the other candidates for Attorney General has this experience. Additionally, I am a proven, aggressive, conservative leader. As the Speaker of the Montana House of Representatives in 2015 and again in 2017, I fought for smaller government and lower taxes on Montana citizens. I don’t just have to say I’m conservative, you can look up my votes in the House and my actions as Roosevelt County Attorney and see the proof.

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Kimberly Dudik, Democrat

Age: 45

Address:

PO Box 674

Frenchtown, MT 59834

Contact info:

facebook: Kimberly Dudik

twitter: @DudikKimberly

Instagram: Kimberlydudik

Website: ​dudikformontana.com

Telephone: 406-206-4331

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Montana State University

Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law

Occupation:

Attorney and State Legislator, previously Registered Nurse and Advocate for Domestic Violence Survivors

Relevant experience:

I’m from Frenchtown, Montana, proudly educated at the University of Montana and Montana State University. I have four adorable children. My career of two decades provides vast legal and public health experience relevant to this office. My experience over 18 years as a practicing attorney in Montana provides the depth of experience statewide leaders need. I held offenders accountable and protected vulnerable populations as a Deputy Gallatin County Attorney and an Assistant Attorney General under Attorney Governor Steve Bullock. As a private attorney and small business owner, I fought for the rights of citizens at all levels: from protecting working Montanans’ rights, to fighting for justice for crime victims, to ensuring children are safe. I served the people of Montana as a substitute judge and have been a legislator for the past 8 years, examining and setting the state budget and leading essential reforms. I bring unique experience in the healthcare and public health arena, having been a registered nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care, an advocate for domestic violence survivors, and director for a hospital.

Why are you running for this office?

As an attorney, nurse, substitute judge, and legislator, my career has been dedicated to improving our criminal justice system, protecting children, and fighting to protect Montanans’ rights. Montanans need a fearless and qualified advocate who puts people over politics and fights to improve the everyday lives of Montanans. My record shows I am that fearless and qualified leader. There is a lot at stake and we need elected leaders with proven leadership experience of moving our state forward and who are ready to start on day one. I’ve seen injustices in our communities throughout my work and fought successfully to stop them. As Attorney General, I will bring the same dedication and drive using innovative reforms to make our state safer and improve Montanans’ lives.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I promise to fight to safeguard our rights, protect consumers, improve public safety, and protect our public lands. Montanans value our outdoor heritage. I will use my State Land Board position to keep public lands in public hands as well as vigorously enforce our constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. I will continue to protect all Montanans, especially women and children, by protecting access to comprehensive healthcare, ending human trafficking, and holding abusers accountable. I will work in partnership with Tribal communities to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people and many other challenges through the creation of an official Office of Native American Affairs within the Attorney General’s office, building and expanding on work already being done. I will use the unique powers of the Attorney General’s office to fight for affordable health care and prescription medicines, address the chemical dependency problem plaguing Montana, protect our right to free and fair elections, and protect public lands.

Why should people vote for you?

I bring a breadth and depth of experience to this office that’s essential in these complex and challenging times and I deliver results that matter to Montanans’ daily lives. As an 18-year attorney with substantial experience in civil and criminal law, judicial experience, health care experience, and policy and lawmaking experience, the skill and judgment I bring is unparalleled in this race on either side of the aisle. I don’t just make promises - I have a proven record of working with Montanans from across the state to deliver on those promises and make needed change. As an 8-year state legislator, I identified issues needing change and led critical reforms that protected children, lowered prescription drug costs, expanded healthcare access, protected public lands, and protected our constitutional rights. I have a proven record of working alongside our Tribal communities to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people and protect citizens. I will continue to put people above politics as Montana Attorney General and deliver real results that matter for Montana families. My qualifications and support for my vision of what the Attorney General can do for Montanans is recognized by endorsements of prominents leaders and organizations, including Carol’s List, the Montana Chapter of the National Organization of Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and over 75 current and former elected officials.

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Raph Graybill, Democrat

Age: 31

Address: PO Box 2728, Great Falls, MT 59403

Contact info: raph@raphgraybill.com

Education: Yale Law School (JD), University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar), Columbia University (BA)

Occupation: Chief Legal Counsel, Governor Steve Bullock

Relevant experience:

In my role as his Chief Legal Counsel, Governor Bullock trusts me to fight for Montana.

We beat the Trump Administration in court, to keep dark money out of our elections. We protected Montana’s public access and public lands in a landmark ruling before the Supreme Court. We stood up to the tobacco industry and won, protecting Montana kids and families. When big telecom companies tried to take away net neutrality, we stood up for Montanans’ privacy, and won. I proudly fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend public schools and our Montana Constitution. And I work alongside the Governor everyday to protect Montanans as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Before joining Governor Bullock, I worked in private practice taking on big healthcare corporations and multinational banks.

Why are you running for this office?

Montanans deserve a fighter as Attorney General. The Attorney General’s job is to go to court and fight to protect Montanans. But too often in recent years, our Attorney General has been on the sidelines.

I decided to run after Governor Bullock and I took our current Attorney General to the Supreme Court to defend public lands and public access. We won. That experience drove home just how important it is for Montanans to have an advocate as Attorney General--someone really fighting for our values. It also underscored how many big fights we’d taken on in the Governor’s office, while our own Attorney General sat silent.

We can do better. I’ve taken on big corporations who rip us off, held the federal government accountable, and defended our constitution. With so much at stake this year, we can’t afford to elect an Attorney General who won’t fight for our values.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

My top priorities are to protect Montanans with preexisting conditions and fight against price gouging on prescription drugs. The Attorney General has a role in both.

The biggest threat to our healthcare right now is an activist lawsuit that Republican Attorneys General are bringing to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. If they’re successful, Montanans with pre-existing conditions could lose their insurance and be denied care. That’s wrong. As Attorney General, I’ll personally intervene in the case and fight to stop it.

The Attorney General has a role in prescription drug prices, too. Too often, big pharmaceutical corporations collude to raise the prices on generic drugs. So we pay more, millions more, and our only recourse is electing an Attorney General willing to enforce our laws and stop it. I’ll do just that. I’ll also automatically review excessive price increases on prescription drugs and investigate if illegal conduct is behind it.

The Attorney General also needs to take a bigger leadership role in addressing the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana. I will make Division of Criminal Investigation agents and resources immediately available when requested by Tribal Governments.

Finally, representing Montana, I’ll fight to ensure that the United States government recognizes the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment--something Montanans passed decades ago, and Trump Administration officials are refusing to recognize even though three states recently pushed the Amendment over the required constitutional threshold to adopt nationwide.

Why should people vote for you?

The Attorney General should be an independent watchdog for Montanans. That ethic has guided my work as Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel.

I’m the only candidate in this race, Democratic or Republican, who has not taken a dime of corporate-linked PAC money. I’m proud to be endorsed by Governor Schweitzer, Senator Baucus, and the Montana Federation of Public Employees, Montana’s largest union.

I have the experience and values to restore the Attorney General’s office to its independent watchdog role on day one. I’ve developed, litigated, and won courtroom victories for Montanans against the biggest corporate and government entities in the world--including beating the Trump Administration and the IRS. That’s what the Attorney General does, and that’s what I’ll do as your next Attorney General.

STATE AUDITOR

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Shane A. Morigeau, Democrat

Age: 35

Address: PO Box 1733 Missoula, MT 59806

Contact info:

Website: www.shaneformontana.com

Phone: (406) 546-4290

Email: shane@shaneformontana.com

Twitter: @shanemorigeau

Facebook & Instagram: @shaneformontana

Education:

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, B.S., Resource Conservation

THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA SCHOOL OF LAW, Juris Doctor & Indian Law Certificate

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, Masters of Law

Occupation: Attorney & State Representative (HD 95)

Relevant experience:

With almost a decade of legal experience in transactions, civil litigation, insurance, criminal law, employment law, and healthcare, I have the legal and policy experience to hold the securities and insurance industries accountable.

I’ve won at the MT Supreme Court. I’ve won in federal court. I’ve practiced law in federal, tribal, state, and administrative courts. I have the legal experience to lead a serious charge to protect Montanans from bad actors.

I’ve served two legislative terms in leadership and I’ve passed nine separate bills. When insurance companies put their financial interests ahead of legislation to protect child sex abuse vicitims, I took them on—and won. I made it illegal for an employee, contractor, or volunteer to use their position of power to have a relationship with a student in a school setting. I passed legislation providing low-income students with need-based aid so that they can attend two-years schools to fill our state’s needs for trade careers, nurses, technology, and more.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running because I believe Montanans still want candidates from our communities who have lived through the very issues they seek to address. I grew up in Ronan, Montana in a family of modest means and the desire to advocate and fight for others.

I refuse to sit back and let any auditor support junk insurance plans, healthcare sharing scams, and massive insurance rate hikes.

This is one of the most important offices that people don't know about or don't talk about enough—because it can have a direct impact on their health and ability to access healthcare. This is an opportunity to ensure that all Montanans have affordable healthcare and fair and meaningful coverage.

I don’t want people to settle for less, just because they might not have thousands of dollars to challenge a company in court. I want bad actors in securities and insurance to know that Montana won't tolerate them. I want transparency in healthcare pricing and insurance. And, I want to ensure our access to public lands is protected.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

  1. Protect and defend Montana consumers from insurance and securities fraud and promote business growth.
  2. Ensure Montanans always have fair and affordable insurance rates.
  3. Increase transparency to healthcare costs.
  4. Restore transparency and confidence in the office of the state auditor.
  5. Protect our public land access and expand access.
  6. Ensure Montanans are educated on fraud, their rights as an insured, and are provided with financial management training opportunities.

Why should people vote for you?

I'm connected, experienced, energized, and proven. I have campaigned for more than ten months, driven over 13,000 miles, and spoken to thousands of Montanans. As a member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes, I’ll bring Indian representation to the office for the first time in history.

I was a leading voice and advocate for Medicaid expansion in 2015, which reduced the percentage of uninsured Montanans from 15 percent to 7.4 percent. Then in 2019, I served on the committee that reauthorized Medicaid expansion and extended these protections for tens of thousands of Montanans.

As state auditor, I will commit to providing trainings around the state on fraud, and financial management so that people know their rights as insureds. Within the office itself, I will commit to supporting and empowering all of its staff to do the work that is so critically needed once again.

I’ve proven I’m all in for Montana, and my record in these matters are public. I’m not an unknown. I’ve taken on insurance companies at the legislature for victims of child sex abuse, passed legislation to protect students from predators in our schools, and created a need-based aid program so more Montanans have access to higher education. I have a broad and well-rounded legal background that I can put to work to protect Montanans. And, I don't come from the insurance industry or the securities industry, so you know I will put Montanans first.

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Mike Winsor, Democrat

Age:51

Address:

Winsor for State Auditor

PO Box 6131

Helena, MT 59604

Contact info:

Website: https://www.winsor4stateauditor.com/

Email: mikewinsor@winsor4stateauditor.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Winsor4Auditor

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011599893390

https://www.facebook.com/Mike-Winsor-for-State-Auditor-102491428110905

Education:

High School: Capital High School, Helena, MT

Undergraduate Studies: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

Degree: B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

Graduate Studies: Oklahoma City University, School of Law, Oklahoma City, OK

Degree: J.D. (Juris Doctor)

Occupation:

Attorney and Counselor at Law

Consumer Advocate

Relevant experience:

Consumer Advocate 22+ years

Plaintiff Attorney:

Winsor Law Firm, PLLC

Personal Injury, Product Liability

October 1997-September 2006

Special Assistant Attorney General

Insurance and Securities Regulatory Attorney:

Office of the Montana State Auditor

Commissioner of Insurance

Securities Commissioner

September 2006- February 2020

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for this office to protect the rights of Montana Insurance Consumers and Montana Investors, to protect them from fraud, to fight financial exploitation of senior citizens, and to regulate the integrity of the insurance and securities industries in the state of Montana.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

I hope to restore the integrity of the Montana State Auditor’s office, to end corruption, abuse, and mismanagement in the office, and to restore the office to its Constitutional mission which is to protect Montana insurance consumers and Montana investors.

Why should people vote for you?

People should vote for me because I am the only candidate qualified for the position. I am the only candidate with the kind of experience that matters.

Of the five candidates in this race, two, including my primary opponent, are both stone-stepping politicians who have no meaningful insurance or securities knowledge or experience.

The other two candidates, both insurance industry insiders, are running on a pro-industry, anti-consumer platform. Neither of the two have securities (investment industry) experience. Neither have experience as regulators.

Developing and maintaining the most up-to-date regulations in this changing technology driven society is the proper agenda to move forward with. Not blanket deregulation promises that open Montana to fraudulently driven industry practices which harm our citizens.

My Republican opponents’ slash and burn deregulation platform will leave the citizens of Montana open to civil and criminal activity more profound than what is currently occurring in this state under Republicans now.

Making claims that reducing regulatory requirements and laws will improve the marketplace are not just a dumb, they show a total lack of understanding for the sworn oath of office taken by the winner of the election to protect the citizens of our state.

Laws and regulations are developed because bad things have happened to the citizens the Auditor swears to protect. Sensible and fair enforcement of laws and administrative rules is paramount to the interests of Montana citizens.

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Troy Downing, Republican

Age: 53

Address: PO Box 6668 Bozeman, MT 59771

Contact info: 406-670-8522, info@TroyDowning.com, Facebook: @TroyDowningMT Twitter: @TroyDowningMT Instagram: @TroyDowningMT

Education: New York University, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: Research Scientist, Instructor

Occupation: Business Owner, Entrepreneur, and Investor

Relevant experience:

Troy has built a nation-wide commercial insurance company, had a successful career in investment banking, and commercial real estate investment securities. Troy has been licensed both through FINRA in the securities industry and in insurance.

Troy will work hard to protect the Montana consumer while allowing entrepreneurs in these industries to thrive. Downing has created multiple businesses in multiple industries, including Insurance and Securities, and has created hundreds of jobs.

Troy Downing is also an owner of a Bozeman based distillery that has been a leader in protecting Montana’s frontlines, first responders, medical care professionals, and critical industry by producing and delivering critically needed hand sanitizer during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Why are you running for this office?

Troy is running because he has a unique background that is particularly suited for this office. He truly cares about service and continues to demonstrate that, from joining the military after 9/11, helping veterans, sitting on charity boards, and being a leader in the effort to protect Montana’s frontlines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Troy has led a life of service and sees an opportunity to use his unique experience in building business, creating jobs, fighting for America, building teams, and years of experience in securities and insurance (the two industries regulated by the State Auditor’s office).

As an experienced businessman in these industries, Troy has seen how bad actors can mislead and defraud consumers. As a business owner, Troy has seen how bloat in a regulatory agency stifles business without protecting the consumer. Troy is driven to continue his service to Montana, protecting consumers, making it easier for businesses to thrive, bringing in competition, increasing choices, and driving down the costs of health insurance.

Troy is excited about sitting on the Montana Land Board. With a deep appreciation of Montana’s beauty and resources, Troy will be an advocate for protecting access to public lands, while supporting farmers and ranchers who depend on state land leases. “Multiple-Use, Sustained Yield”, is meaningful. Multiple-use means sportsmen and recreational access, grazing, farming, timber, etc. Sustained Yield means, “do it in a way that you can do it forever.” Troy believes in stewardship- we can protect all that we hold dear, support the backbone of our economy, and raise funds for education.

Troy is dedicated to defending our Montana way of life and paving roads for all Montanans to pursue their American Dream. He will be a conservative voice for taxpayers, a strong advocate for transparency, and will work tirelessly to stop an expanding government from stifling prosperity with unnecessary and unreasonable regulations.

Troy is committed to lowering the costs of lifesaving prescription medications and working with families, doctors, and seniors to make healthcare work for every Montanan.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

Troy will fight for transparency in all things government. Transparency in agencies, in hospital billing practices, transparency in pharma pricing, and transparency in financial services.

Through transparency, Montanans can have meaningful conversations about the insurance and investment products they pay for. This will drive better consumer pricing.

Troy also wants to streamline the regulatory environment. He would like to shepherd the agency’s culture to be pro-business while continuing to be staunch protectors of Montana consumers.

Downing is committed to fighting high prescription drug and health insurance costs and implementing common-sense market-driven solutions.

As the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Troy Downing will hold bad actors accountable while getting the government off the backs of small businesses.

Finally, Troy wants to put together meaningful teams of representatives from educators and industry leaders who are affected by Land Board decisions. Troy will have a forum of representatives of those affected to discuss how decisions made by the Board of Land Commissioners can protect what we all hold dear, maximize income for public education, and promote an industry that depends on trust land leases to thrive.

Why should people vote for you?

Troy Downing is a man of service and integrity. From his military career, his support for veteran organizations, and now ultimately, as the Conservative candidate for State Auditor.

Downing has the plans, experience, and record of service that trump any other person, from any party, running for this office.

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Nelly Nicol, Republican

Age: 43

Address: PO Box 6505, Helena, MT 59064

Contact info: Nelly4Montana@GMail.com

Education: Bachelor of Science in Public Relations minor in Mass Communications

Occupation: Communications Manager, Victory Insurance Company, Inc.

Relevant experience: Business owner, Health care professional, 20 years of Insurance Experience as well as focus on economic development.

Why are you running for this office?

I’m running for this office to create transparency, consistency and predictability in a fair market place. The government should be a strong foundation to aid private industries growth.

The landboard seat is vital to Montana’s growth and development as well as funding for our K-12 schools. Given the times we are in, it is vital to support our agriculture and tourism industries. Having someone on the land board who will engage and foster positive changes is essential.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

“If you pay for Insurance, You should care.”

I would like businesses and consumers to have more of a voice in the direction they want our great state to go. I continually hear from consumers that simplicity is needed in basically all arenas of insurance. Making Insurance fun may be a stretch for most people but supporting me to make it user friendly is a common sense goal we can all work towards.

Our smaller independent agents on the front lines need to be supported. They are the largest source of education for most policyholders and our rural communities deserve to have the option to walk into an office and sit down with their agent to ask any questions that they may have.

Why should people vote for you?

People are voting for me because they want someone who understands the insurance marketplace as a whole. My well rounded experience encompasses policy and underwriting, safety, claims, communications and reinsurance. I have served as a Treasurer and as a board member at multiple insurance companies. I had my own business where I was able to provide alternative healthcare choices for women with breast cancer while I successfully billed their insurance company.

Navigating a highly regulated industry and creating solutions for the people who need it most is my passion.

Due to these unprecedented times, it is going to be vital for Republicans to pick a candidate who will cross the finish line in November. You see candidates in leadership roles for years who have made no real effective impact as well as candidates who just want to be in politics.

I have a track record of successes for Montana.

One success for our state was when I received a call in 2006 to help with an economic development project in Eastern Montana. It had 3 key components

  1. Keep the Miles City Veterans’ Affairs Building viable so it wouldn’t be shut down
  2. Create good paying jobs
  3. Create competition in Montana’s workers compensation market.

I’m proud to say that those veterans still have a home and clinic, many great paying jobs were created and workers compensation rates decreased by over 60% in the state of Montana from the day this project started.

Another passion of mine is healthcare. We have a child who was very ill, Failure to Thrive is what the doctors called it as she was slowly dying in front of us. While navigating years of doctoring with specialists in multiple states to save the life of our daughter I have seen an unfathomable amount of bureaucracy. I worked directly with our Insurance Company, who also could see how much we were going to cost them if solutions were not found quickly. I helped with a start up pilot program that efficiently gathered medical records, had a doctor review them and send them to the correct specialist in the top 2% of their specialty. I’m thrilled to say we still have our daughter and she is thriving and we are blessed. When you are already worrying about your loved one who is ill, the last thing you should be doing is scheduling out time to navigate a complex system.

As your State Auditor I will work with insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacy owners and health care providers to lower your rates.

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Scott “Tux” Tuxbury, Republican

Age: 60

Contact info:

Scott@Tuxformt.com

Phone: 406.285.1625

Address: 6055 Meininger Dr., Missoula MT 59808

Education: BA University of Iowa, major in Risk Management and Insurance

Occupation: Insurance Underwriter

Relevant experience:

My entire career has prepared me for the responsibilities of the Auditor and office of Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. I’ve spent 37 years gaining expertise in insurance products in Montana, and working with people across the state who need them. In 1992, I purchased a small business in Missoula and grew it to a successful firm that now employees 35. I’m proud of the business we built, employing Montanans and helping consumers by expanding their insurance choices.

Throughout my career I have studied all aspects of insurance, and my expertise has been sought after and applied to instruct other insurance professionals in Montana insurance law, ethics, non-traditional insurance products, property insurance, and liability insurance. I am licensed in all lines of insurance in all 50 states and hold designations reflecting my expertise in farm and ranch, personal, and commercial insurance. I have also held a Series 7 securities license.

I have served on several boards related to insurance education, including the Montana Insurance Education Foundation and the Miles City Community College Insurance Program Advisory Board. I was appointed to the Montana Insurance Guarantee Association (MIGA) Board by Commissioner Rosendale. The MIGA oversees insurance companies that have gone bankrupt and helps ensure consumers are made whole. I’m a sportsman and landowner who will serve Montanans with experience on the Land Board

Why are you running for this office?

After several years without it, we need someone with extensive, relevant experience in this office. For too long, the Auditor’s role has been used as a tool for advancement to other positions—not the important work it was designed to do for Montanans. We also need a Republican candidate who can win the general election and not bounce from one race to another.

I’m in the race to bring all these things to the Auditor’s office. My agenda is simple: I will work tirelessly to advance insurance options for Montanans, and will make sure we provide quality solutions to important challenges ahead of us.

What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

As a rural state with minimal population, we are overlooked by many quality insurance companies. That means Montanans have fewer choices. I will aggressively push to bring more competition here. As a regulator of insurance companies, it’s imperative that the Auditor protect our consumers and give them more choices. I’m ready to do that and don’t need any on-the-job training to get to work.

Fraud harms Montanans across our state and is a specific issue of importance to me. Now more than ever, we must aggressively pursue cases of fraud. I’m particularly dedicated to fighting elder abuse and will make that a priority.

The Auditor enforces laws and oversees complex regulations and transactions. We need someone in this office who knows the law (in my case, teaches it), not someone with a history of breaking our laws. I’m prepared and equipped to enforce Montana laws and look forward to taking on the responsibility.

Outreach will be a cornerstone of my administration. I will be personally involved in reaching out to communities in Montana, whether the topic is insurance education, fraud prevention, or Land Board issues that impact communities. I will roll my sleeves up and be there in times of need. If Montanans are facing forest fires, floods, or hailstorms, I’ll be there to answer my phone and help.

Why should people vote for you?

I am not a politician, and the office of State Auditor is truly my dream job. I have trained most of my life for it and there is no other candidate who comes close to offering my level of expertise. During the COVID-19 crisis, I fielded daily questions about insurance implications. These are questions I can answer because I have spent most of my life working with them. I always ask voters, when we face the next crisis, do you want expertise in the Auditor’s office or someone who is in training? I know the job at hand and don’t need training. I’m ready to work for Montanans day one.

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