The Hi-Line will be in for a great race for the Montana State Senate next year.
As has been expected, State Rep. Kris Hansen, a four-year veteran of the Legislature, will take on Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Havre, who has spent most of his career in public service. Their newly created 17th district includes much of Hill County, and part or all of Chouteau, Liberty and Cascade counties.
The race will pit two candidates who are well respected in their caucuses. The contest will receive attention far beyond the Hi-Line. If Democrats are to have any chance at all of regaining control of the Senate, they will need to win this race.
The race will give voters a clear choice on Montana’s future. The two candidates, both well-intentioned public servants, disagree on just about everything that might come before the Legislature.
On hot-button issues they differ greatly.
Hansen favors taxpayer-funded charter schools, Jergeson is against them. She favors tougher immigration laws, he is against them. She opposes same-sex marriage and supports curtailing abortion rights, the opposite for Jergeson. He supported most of Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget initiatives, she opposed them.
The list goes on.
If all goes well in the upcoming campaign, Hi-Line residents will be in for an informative and educational treat. Two of the Legislature’s brighter stars will be competing against each other in a high-stakes contest.
Based on their previous campaigns, both candidates will take the high road.
We hope to hear in the coming year about the candidates’ positions on the issues, the way they will conduct themselves in the Legislature.
Both are people of principles, but the old Kenny Rogers tune advises that you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them.
When will they be willing to compromise, even if it means gagging a little bit?
Will they bolt from their caucus when it is in the Hi-Line’s best interests? How much will they be willing to be, in addition to being a state senator, the ambassador from the far north-centeral reaches into the more populated parts of the state?
We hope to hear more from both candidates on these issues as the campaign goes forward.
Best of luck to both candidates. We have high expectations of both of you.