MT House and Senate

Highlights from the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum

An underwhelming thirty to forty people attended the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum, hosted by Bicentennial Library at Colstrip High School, to meet and learn more about the candidates running for Montana Senate District 20 and House Districts 39 and 41.  The candidate turn out was excellent with all but two of the scheduled candidates attending; Rod Mogen (D) of Rosebud, running for SD 20, and Patricia Rae Peppers (D) of Lame Deer, running for HD 41, were not able attend.

The first round of moderated questions went to Mr Howard Keller (D) of Big Horn and Mrs Geri Custer (R) of Forsyth both running for the open seat in House district 39.  Prior to the start of the night, Mr Keller told the forum organizers that he felt nervous since he has never sought political office before, but when the forum began he appeared calm, prepared, and confident.  Mrs Custer presented herself confident and knowledgeable, showing her political insight from her thirty plus years of political service as Rosebud County Clerk and Recorder.

The second round featured the candidates for Senate district 20, Mr Duane Ankney (R) of Colstrip and Mr Barry Usher (R) of Billings.  In his characteristic down-to-earth manner, Mr Ankney displayed his knowledge and experience of legislative politics; having served the past eight years in the Montana House of Representatives.  Mr Usher also showed insight and readiness for the senate seat drawing from his past experience as a military veteran, police officer, and current experience as a successful small business owner in Billings.

The forum was not a debate and as such there was no declared winner from either interviewed group.  Rather, the audience was able to become better acquainted with the men and women seeking to represent them in Helena in 2015.

Mr Keller and Mrs Custer will face off during the general election to be held November 4.  While Mr Ankney and Mr Usher will face off in the primary election to be held on June 3 and the winner will compete against Rod Mogen for the final victory to be decided at the general election.  Ms Peppers is still expected to run unopposed for the House district 41 seat.

Colstrip resident, Gary Parry, performed an excellent job of moderator.  The event schedule progressed more quickly than expected due to the two absent candidates and to the efficiency and preparedness of the candidates in answering the questions.  To help lengthen the time with the candidates, Mr Parry was able to seamlessly interject relevant questions and opened the floor to questions from the audience.

Audience members were also treated by the attendance of two other political candidates; the Rosebud County Superintendent of Schools candidate Lisa Blevins (D) of Forsyth and U.S. Senate candidate Champ Edmunds (R) of Missoula.  Mrs Blevins is running for a local office that has not seen much competition in the past while Mr Edmunds is running in the high-profile race against fellow Republican and current U.S. Congressman Steve Daines, both seeking the Republican nomination for the Senate seat recently vacated by Max Baucus. Both Mrs Blevins and Mr Edmunds were able to meet fellow audience members at the end of the forum to promote their own campaigns.

Even though the audience turn out was lower than hoped for, I certainly appreciated the effort and time put forward by the candidates to travel out to Colstrip to let local residents to get to know them.  I hope that future events like this will be planned by the Rosebud County Bicentennial Library of Colstrip and that more people will take this great opportunity to meet the men and women who will serve and represent them in Forsyth, Helena, and even the U.S. capitol.

get involved icon-large

Advertisements

Colstrip Candidate Forum 2014 Update: All Candidates have accepted

Candidate Forum Logo 2014Patricia Rae Peppers (D) of Lame Deer has recently accepted the invitation and plans to attend the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum.

All the state legislative candidates filed for election have accepted and plan to attend!

Running for state Senate district 20 are Republicans Duane Ankney of Colstrip (current district 43 House Representative), Barry Usher of Billings and Democrat Rod Mogen of Rosebud.  Running for House district 39 is Democrat Howard Keller of Big Horn and Republican Geri Custer of Forsyth (current County Clerk of Rosebud County).  Running unopposed in House district 41 is Patricia Rae Peppers of Lame Deer (incumbent).

Again, the event is not a debate. All candidates will be on stage together answering a series of questions asked by the moderator.  Each candidate will have one opportunity to answer the question in turn.  The format gives the audience the opportunity to get to know the candidates and find out why they chose to run for elected office.

Come out to the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum, hosted by Bicentennial Library at Colstrip High School auditorium, Friday, May 2 starting at 7:00 PM.  It’s only two days away!  I’ll see you there.

Remember, you can join the Event on Facebook.

Colstrip Candidate Forum 2014 Update: 5 of 6 Candidates have accepted

Candidate Forum Logo 2014Rod Mogen (D) of Rosebud has recently accepted the invitation and plans to attend the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum.

Mr Ankney, Mr Usher, Mr Keller, Mrs Custer, and Mr Mogen have agreed to participate.  We’re just missing Ms Peppers for a full stage.

Running for state Senate district 20 are Republicans Duane Ankney of Colstrip (current district 43 House Representative), Barry Usher of Billings and Democrat Rod Mogen of Rosebud.  Running for House district 39 is Democrat Howard Keller of Big Horn and Republican Gerri Custer of Forsyth (current County Clerk of Rosebud County).  Running unopposed in House district 41 is Patricia Rae Peppers of Lame Deer (incumbent).

Again, the event is not a debate. All candidates will be on stage together answering a series of questions asked by the moderator.  Each candidate will have one opportunity to answer the question in turn.  The format gives the audience the opportunity to get to know the candidates and find out why they chose to run for elected office.  Get your questions on the final list; submit a question right here at In Colstrip!

Come out to the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum, hosted by Bicentennial Library at Colstrip High School auditorium, Friday, May 2 starting at 7:00 PM.  It’s only two weeks away!  I’ll see you there.

Remember, you can join the Event on Facebook.

Get to Know Your Candidates

Candidate Forum Logo 2014Three years ago Colstrip Bicentennial Library hosted the first Colstrip Candidate Forum; a moderate Q&A event where the local mayoral and council candidates answered a series of questions in front of a live audience.  It was well attend and helped shape the outcome of a crowded local race.

I’m excited to let you know that they are doing it again, but this time for candidates running for state house and senate.  On Friday, May 2 starting at 7PM Bicentennial Library will host the 2014 Colstrip Candidate Forum.  The event will be held at the Colstrip High School auditorium and four of the six candidates have accepted the invitation.

Running for state Senate district 20 are Republicans Duane Ankney of Colstrip (current district 43 House Representative), Barry Usher of Billings and Democrat Rod Mogen of Rosebud.  Running for House district 39 is Democrat Howard Keller of Big Horn and Republican Gerri Custer of Forsyth (current County Clerk of Rosebud County).  Running unopposed in House district 41 is Patricia Rae Peppers of Lame Deer (incumbent).

Mr Ankney, Mr Usher, Mr Keller, and Mrs Custer have agreed to participate.

The event is not a debate. All candidates will be on stage together answering a series of questions asked by the moderator.  Each candidate will have one opportunity to answer the question in turn.  The format gives the audience the opportunity to get to know the candidates and find out why they chose to run for elected office.

Join your neighbors and other people who live in your district at the Colstrip Candidate Forum, hosted by Bicentennial Library at Colstrip High School auditorium, Friday, May 2 starting at 7:00 PM.  It’s only three weeks away!

Join the Event on Facebook.

One City, Two Districts: The New Line that Divides Colstrip

New Legislative Districts for Colstrip, MT

New Legislative Districts for Colstrip, MT

In the recent legislative redistricting, Colstrip was separated into two state Senate districts and two state House districts.  Essentially, everyone north of Power Rd and east of Olive Drive are in Senate District 20 and House District 39 and everybody south of Box Elder and West of Highway 39 are in Senate District 21 and House District 41.

The Montana Legislature website put together a district map PDF and two interactive Google Maps to let you see more clearly where the line criss crosses through Colstrip.  When looking at the maps, keep in mind that there are fifty (50) senate districts and every senate districts contains two (2) house districts.

Google Map-Senate Districts of Montana

Google Map-House Districts of Montana

Senate and House Districts Map PDF

What do you think of the new district line?  Do you happen to be in a different district than your next door neighbor?

Let me know your thoughts or questions.

The Local Race for State Congress

Filing for Montana state legislative races is officially closed.

Due to the legislative redistricting that occurred in 2013, Colstrip is split into two Senate districts and therefore two House districts.

Here’s the line-up of candidates heading towards the primary election to be held on June 3, 2014:

2014 Democrat Republican
Senate District 20 Rod Mogen Duane Ankney vs Barry Usher
House District 39 Howard Keller Geraldine (Geri) Custer
Senate District 21 not up for election
House District 41 Patricia Rae Peppers none

What are your thoughts on the candidates?  Do you know anything about any of them?  Let me know.

Wondering where you fall on the new district map and who you’ll be voting for? I’ll cover that in the next post.