A two-term Republican state representative announced this morning she is shifting her campaign to the state Senate.
Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, said she has filed the paperwork to run in the newly created Senate District 14, which stretches from the Canadian border through Hill, Liberty and Chouteau counties into the northwestern edge of Cascade County.
She said this morning that the redistricting, which also created a single compact district in Havre, gives the opportunity both to bring in a new Republican House candidate and for her to pursue goals in the Senate. That includes continuing on policy committees as she did in the House, on the education and local government and tax committees, and also participating in the Senate side of appropriations in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.
“In some ways, in order to make myself a more well-rounded legislator, I would really like to have that appropriations experience,” Hansen said. “That is probably the No.1 factor for me.”
The only other declared candidate is Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Havre, who returned to the Senate after terming out — he served 22 years starting in the 1970s — and then terming out after two terms on the Public Service Commission, including six years as chair.
The redistricting approved last year prevented Jergeson from running for re-election in his district. He announced this fall he had moved from Chinook to a Havre residence, allowing him to run in SD 14.
Hansen, who chaired the House Education Committee during this year’s session in her second term, said one of her main goals in the Senate would be to continue pushing for tax reform. She proposed a simplification of the tax code in Montana with the goal of allowing filing on a single page, or even postcard-sized, form.
Hansen, a veteran of the war in Iraq, said she would work with the governor’s office and the state budget office before the start of the 2015 Legislature to draft a bill Gov. Steve Bullock would be willing to sign.