Voters in Helena Tuesday night had the opportunity to see the two major candidates for governor explain their positions on the major issues.
Former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill and Attorney General Steve Bullock have widely conflicting views on major issues facing the state, and many in the public want to hear what both say before deciding for whom to vote.
If people missed the Helena debate, they will have a chance to see future debates in Butte, Billings, Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls and Bozeman.
Let’s see now … what part of the state has been left out of the places that will host a debate. Why, there will be no forum on the Hi-Line.
Maybe those organizing the debates thought people in the Havre area weren’t interested in the issues. Or maybe, yet again, as it seems to happen so often in Montana politics, the Hi-Line just slipped their minds.
It always seems like an exaggeration when people say this will be the most important election in history. Yet, the decisions made by the new administration and the 2013 Legislature will have an impact on the Hi-Line as great as in the rest of the state.
Hi-Line residents want to be informed before making this important decision.
We would like answers to questions about Obamacare, gay rights, state budget issues, social issues, medical marijuana and all the issues that affect the rest of the state.
But many issues particular to the Hi-Line need to be discussed. And voters need to know where candidates stand.
It would be tremendous for Hi-Line voters to be able to compare how the candidates stand on these issues.
Should Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy's Indian reservations be allowed to accept bison from Yellowstone National Park?
What can be done to help the new administration reinvigorate Montana State University-Northern?
What role should the state play in trying to keep the border with Canada as open as possible so that we can visit neighbors north of the border and visitors can come to our area and spend money?
What specific job-creation programs are needed on the Hi-line to train the many talented and willing workers in the skills they need in this technological era?
The area needs efficient transportation in and out of our communities. What will the new governor to do ensure that U.S. Highway 2 is expanded to four lanes? What will he do to help North Central Montana Transit survive?
Residents of Rocky Boy's and Fort Belknap Indian reservations say they feel for the first time in a long time for the last eight years they have a friend in the governor’s office. Will that continue?
There has been a feeling that those of us on the Hi-Line are often forgotten by the powers-that-be in Helena. We want to listen to both sides and see who shares our concerns and our vision for the future.
For years, one party dominated the political scene here. No longer. Our votes are up for grabs. We want to hear from both sides before casting a vote. We hope the candidates agree to give us the opportunity to compare the candidates.