A dual announcement was made during the annual Hill County Democrats’ Pasma-Peck Dinner Friday in Havre, both of a new address and a re-election bid.
“I now want to introduce a really good friend of mine and a neighbor of mine,” former Hill County Democrat Chair John Musgrove, who was master of ceremonies at the fundraiser, said when introducing State Sen. Greg Jergeson, formerly D-Chinook.
“My name is Greg Jergeson, and I hail from (8th Avenue and 5th Street), Havre, Mont ., and I am a candidate for re-election as your state senator in District 14,” Jergeson said.
After terming out of the Senate early last decade after 22 years of service, then serving eight years on the Public Service Commission — including six years as chair — before he termed out of that office, then-Chinook resident Jergeson ran for the Senate again in 2012.
He won that election, but lost the chance to run again due to redistricting.
With his Havre address, he now lives in an immense Senate district created through the redistricting, stretching from the Canadian border through Liberty and western Hill counties and Chouteau County and the northeastern corner of Cascade County.
No Republicans, or other Democrats, have announced their intention to run for the seat as of today.
Jergeson said he is running for the state senate for the same reason he ran in the last election, saying he saw the state Legislature “hurtling into the dysfunction and hyper-partisanship” he also sees in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“And I hated to see the Montana Legislature going through that,” he said.
He said he campaigned in 2012 arguing that, with his experience, he could bridge the gap between Republican moderates and Democrats, and, he said, he thinks he did help with that.
“I think I had an effective session,” Jergeson said.
As an example, he cited helping pass the school funding bill proposed by Sen. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, which Jergeson said helped with the public schools that help provide American stability, freedom and progress.
They also, especially in smaller Montana communities, provide a center for the people of the community, he said.
Jergeson said the public schools that Jones’ bill addressed are in contrast with the charter schools that were a centerpiece of the Republican’s education proposals in the last sesson.
“Charter schools that take money away from the public schools … don’t have to answer to anybody, and they don’t have to stand up for any kind of standards,” Jergeson said. “What they do is, they just take the money and run.”
Jergeson also said his new Havre address has a couple of added benefits.
“This November I get to vote for Tim Solomon for mayor,” he said was one.
The other was, if he wins his election bid, “I will end up with one (U.S. Sen.) Jon Tester as one of my constituents,” he said.