A newly filed candidate for the state House of Representatives said this morning that she is running for one main reason: She is unhappy with the representation of the house district by its incumbent.
Sarah Beth Singer, who works in the energy programs at District IV Human Resources Development Council, filed as a Democrat in the race for House District 34 in Hill and Blaine counties, facing Karen Sloan in the June 5 primary. The winner will face incumbent Republican Wendy Warburton in November’s general election.
As of this morning, no one had filed as a Republican challenger to Warburton.
Singer, who has served as a bill reader in the last two legislative sessions, reading bills as they are introduced, said she does not think Warburton’s list of bills introduced or her voting record represents her constituents.
Two examples she listed were Warburton’s votes for House Bill 2, the state general budget in which the Republican majority significantly cut from Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s proposed budget, and against House Bill 13, shooting down the state employee pay plan which included previously negotiated minor pay raises.
She said she likes Warburton — and Sloan — but decided, once she moved to Havre in House District 34, to challenge Warburton for her seat.
She plans to soon start going door-to-door to find out what constituents in the district think are the most important issues, and what they want the legislators to do.
She added that she has only heard good things about Sloan, a retired nurse and former director of Family Planning, and wants to show voters any differences between them.
Whomever the Democrats select in the primary, it would be a win for the voters, she said.
Singer said Warburton seems to focus more on social issues — some of her bills last session included increasing gun rights, implementing local militias and legislation opposing abortion — while Singer said she would rather focus on economic issues.
Singer was born in Fresno Calif., in 1970, moving to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation about 10 years ago and to her current address in Havre last July, she said.
Singer said her main goals would be to work to improve the economy of the region in the House district, and to help with programs to help people who need help, such as the public school systems and Medicaid.
She said she believes in the state helping people in economic need, especially because most people use those services temporarily until they get back on their feet.
Cuts in those programs were one of the things that upset her the most during the last legislative session, Singer said.
“In this district, many families rely on those programs, ” she said. “They need a helping hand, not all the time, but at times they need a helping hand. ”