Government & Politics

Matt Volz / Associated Press

Montana’s U.S. House Candidates all voiced their support for the town of Colstrip and coal during their final debate last night in Great Falls.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our governor has turned coal into a four letter word,” said Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge. 

The comment elicited a few giggles from the standing room only audience. The surveyor from Proctor ignored them and said there’s a war on the residents of Colstrip. “Now those jobs, those lives, those livelihoods, he said.

Montana organizations joined an effort to ensure eligible adults are registered to vote in this year’s election as part of National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 27.

Kiah Abbey, deputy director for the Forward Montana Foundation, had been working with the League of Women Voters, student governments, businesses and nonprofits across the state to set up places where people can register to vote.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Association unanimously endorsed Governor Steve Bullock during its quarterly meeting in Billings. 

Fort Belknap Tribal Chairman Mark Azure says the endorsement comes because of the Bullock Administration’s working relationship with the tribal governments.

“And we want to be recognized as a sovereign nation,” Azure says. “And I think governor Bullock gets that. My fear is the other folks don’t get that. I don’t think we here at the table can afford to see that other party fill those seats.”

Patrick Williams / University Relations, MSU Billings

Montana’s gubernatorial candidates stuck to familiar campaign themes during last night’s debate in Billings. Much of the event focused on jobs and the candidates painted vastly different pictures of the Montana economy.

Republican challenger Greg Gianforte criticized Governor Steve Bullock for declining state revenues. The technology entrepreneur from Bozeman said he’s running because he’s a proven job creator.

  Montana’s gubernatorial candidates face off in a debate tonight in Billings. 

This will be the second debate this year for incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte.

The public is invited to attend the debate at Petro Theatre on the MSU Billings campus.

The debate will also be broadcast LIVE on the radio and on-line over YPR and Northern News Network stations.

Jackie Yamanaka

  Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte said job creation is his number one priority and he didn’t need the Labor Day Holiday to remind him of that.

Gianforte launched his latest push to urge Montanans to return to their home state and bring their job with them.

Gianforte is challeging Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock on Montana's November general election ballot.

Gianforte says some of the largest national and international companies already allow their employees to work remotely.

Democratic House candidate Denise Juneau says she supports the Crow Tribe’s efforts to develop its coal resources. Republican incumbent Ryan Zinke responded that’s not true.

The two verbally sparred on this and other topics at their second debate at MSU Billings.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau was asked why as a member of the state land board she voted against the Otter Creek Coal leases and whether that was an indication of her position on natural resource development.

The Democrat says she’s voted for mining and timber projects.

Jackie Yamanaka

  Montana’s U-S House candidates took traditional party stances when questioned about how they would balance the federal budget.

The comments came during a debate on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Democratic challenger Denise Juneau said as state school superintendent she runs one of the largest agencies in the state, the Office of Public Instruction.

“And we do a fantastic job of making sure that those funds are distributed, so I get budgeting,” she told the crowd.

Juneau said the problem with the federal budget is corporate tax loopholes.

  The public is invited to watch Montana's U.S. House candidates debate at two events this week. The events will also be broadcast live, statewide.

Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-MT, and Democratic challenger Denise Juneau will face-off for the first time tonight at Frazer school on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.  Libertarian Mike Fellows was invited but declined.

The event is sponsored by The Glasgow Courier newspaper and the Montana Farm Bureaus of Valley, McCone and Roosevelt counties.