Lee Newspapers reported Sunday that Paul Tuss, the executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp., is a leading contender for commerce commissioner in the Gov. Steve Bullock administration.
The governor is compiling his team for when he takes office in January.
For those of us on the Hi-Line, it’s a win-win situation. If Tuss is appointed, Montana will get a high quality servant who has the talent and the dedication to move the state forward.
If not, we get to keep his talents here on the Hi-Line. At Bear Paw, Tuss has used his expertise to attract millions of dollars for development projects. He has cut through the politics and government bureaucracy time and again for the betterment of the area.
We have our own reasons for wanting Tuss in a high-level state position. It would be good if someone in the administration who knows what and where Havre is — something more than a dot on the map in the far reaches.
On the state Board of Regents, Tuss has been an advocate for a progressive university system, always putting student needs first. There, too, he has been an advocate for the Hi-Line and its beloved Montana State University-Northern.
This morning, Tuss said he can't see himself anywhere but at Bear Paw Development. If that's the case, that's great for our area. Just the same, if he ends up in the Bullock administration, that would be great for Montana as well as the Hi-Line.
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Probably the last thing the governor-elect needs now is more unsolicited advice, and we suspect we are not the only ones providing it.
The names listed as potential cabinet members and high-level advisers is very impressive. There are lots of people who have served the state well and have lots of service yet to offer.
But the people being discussed are largely, or maybe exclusively, white.
Bullock is following in the shoes of an administration that took unprecedented actions to make state government look more like Montana’s population. There are a lot more Native Americans involved in state government than ever before.
We hope the new governor will follow the same path. It’s best for Montana.
And, from a purely political standpoint, if only whites voted in the Nov. 6 election. Gov.-elect Rick Hill would be lining up his cabinet right now.