Who am I?
Raised by parents who grew up during the Great Depression, I was taught a critical lesson at an early age: complaining about a problem or pointing fingers never solves anything. To make a difference, you have to work hard, apply yourself, and try to fix whats wrong. This work ethic has guided me throughout my life as a mother of two children, as a small businesswoman, as a workforce-training specialist, and as an accomplished State Legislator. Through hard work and a willingness to listen, I have been reelected six consecutive times in a Republican district in Billings, Montana. While serving as a citizen legislator, I have been the lead Workforce Development Coordinator at Montana State University-Billings, where I work with businesses to retrain employees to compete for jobs in todays changing economy. Throughout my career, I have also worked in new energy development and have helped Native American organizations improve their economies and create jobs through small business development. I put myself through college by working a variety of jobs, becoming a Teamster along the way. I earned a Masters Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from UCLA. I am the proud mother of two grown children, Hank and Claire.
Why am I running?
Montana has only one voice in the U.S. House and that voice needs to be both experienced and effective in delivering results for Montana's working families. I am running for Congress because I believe getting things done is more important than politics and partisanship. I understand what it means to work across party lines to achieve results for Montana families because its what I have done in the legislature. When our Congressman Pat Williams retired almost 16 years ago, Montanas working families lost a reliable and hardworking voice in the U.S. House. Since then, Montana has been represented by two do nothing House members. In this race, I am the candidate that will protect Social Security. I am the candidate that refuses to turn Medicare into a voucher system. And I am the candidate that wont allow the House of Representatives to continue playing games with womens health. This year Montanans have the opportunity to elect an experienced, committed fighter for working families who will make job creation, job training, innovation, and collaboration a priority again in the House of Representatives.
I am running as an open and accessible candidate, and I will be an open and accessible Member of Congress. When I represent Montana in the U.S. House, I want to work to get results and move past the acrimony of the past few years. Hold me accountable on my record and also on my ability to talk and work with the other side. Make no mistake, we have hard work ahead of ourselves. Montana's families need results, not more rhetoric. I want to make investments in education and infrastructure -- things that we know will lay the foundation for creating good, high-paying jobs in the future -- rather than taking ideological votes with little chance of passing. And I am certainly not going to support the U.S. House leaving for Recess before an important vote on the Farm Bill in the middle of a drought like it did just last month.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
I did not win six consecutive elections from a Republican district in Billings without having grassroots campaigns based on my neighbors talking to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. I am determined to get everywhere across Montana during the course of this campaign. I know that I am never going to outspend my wealthy opponent, but money is not the be-all, end-all in Montana politics like can be in many other places. Our state is a tight-knit community -- albeit a spread-out one -- and people expect to see you and meet you in their communities along the way. I drove 30,000 miles during the Democratic primary to secure this nomination, and I am not slowing down now. I have a dedicated group of volunteers coming into headquarters on a weekly basis helping my campaign (and dropping off out-of-the-oven banana bread) that are ready to ramp up their efforts over the last 80 days of this campaign! (And we can always use more! Please email [email protected] if you can spare a few hours to help).