A former governor is coming to Havre to dispute claims that the GOP is working against the interests of American women.
Gov. Judy Martz, who served as lieutenant governor under Marc Racicot’s leadership from 1996-2000 and as Montana’s governor for the four years following, will present “What War on Women?” in Havre at 7 p.m. Monday in the Havre High School auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Hill County Republican Central Committee.
Committee Chair Andrew Brekke said this morning that Martz is holding events around the state to support candidates, and is focusing on women’s issues because three Hill County Republican candidates — Rep. Wendy Warburton, Rep. Kris Hansen and county commissioner candidate Debi Rhines — are women themselves.
Brekke said he expects Republican state superintendent of public instruction candidate Sandy Welch also to attend.
He said Martz will answer questions about her term as governor — the first woman governor in Montana — and as an Olympic athlete.
“And women’s issues, as far as women go, and this supposed war on women being conducted by us against people,” he added. “And she wants to set the record straight, and say, look there have been a lot of first-time women in Montana that the Republicans have had on their side, so it’s not an issue owned by the Democrats.
“And it’s really not an issue at all, because women are supported by both parties,” Brekke said.
The term “War on Women” has been used by pundits to characterize Republican stances on items like abortion, Family Planning and other health care issues.
Those issues also are arising in Montana’s U.S. Senate race, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign is claiming that items in the appropriations bill that came out of the House subcommittee chaired by his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, cut funding for programs that benefit women.
Republicans — including women — have defended the party’s stance and actions that have been attacked by Democrats.
The flyers advertising Martz’ presentation say “Judy Martz sets the record straight.”
“It’s just that and to come up and say, ‘Hi’ to folks in Havre,” Brekke said. “It was something she wanted to do, and we were eager to have her.”