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Democrats seek votes at Rocky Boy

 

October 30, 2014

Eric Seidle

During a stop at Rocky Boy's Indian Resrvation in a Democratic Get out the Vote tour, Chippewa Cree tribal council member Ted Whitford, from left, council member Ted Russette, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, council member Dustin Whitford, U.S. House candidate John Lewis, U.S Senate candidate Amanda Lewis, Gov. Steve Bullock, council member Gerald Small and council member Ted Demontiney pose for a photograph.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Jon Tester, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Amanda Curtis and John Lewis, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives visited Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation this morning to urge residents to register and vote Democratic.

The visit is part of the final push before Election Day, Nov. 4, and is part of a 17-community tour the Democratic group is taking in the next few days. Rocky Boy is their first stop, and they visited Havre this morning for their second.

Curtis said she has been able to travel 9,000 miles since she was nominated to be the Democratic candidate for the race.

"I'm so happy to start building a relationship so I can come back to these communities as our United States senator and start working on these issues that are important," Curtis said.

She said her campaign is going "amazingly well," and she is getting a grassroots support "that millions of dollars can't buy."

"I'm really excited for an upset on Tuesday," she said. She is widely believed to be the underdog in her race with Republican Rep. Steve Daines.

She added that she thinks she has started to build a solid relationship with the Native American communities of Montana.

"We'll be able to work well together," Curtis said.

Lewis also said their tour will take them to Fort Belknap Indian Reservation after Havre, taking them across the Hi-Line and looping back.

"We're rallying people and encouraging them to vote," Lewis said. "Votes in Indian country are important in an election."

He said he wants people's voices heard and he will listen to those voices if he is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He said he has had ties to the Indian communities for years, as his father was a registered member of the Warm Springs Tribe in Oregon and he has been visiting Montana reservations throughout the year.

"I'm going to be somebody who's going to fight for investing in the tribal colleges, investing in education, investing in health care and other issues like that," Lewis said.

The focus of the community meet and greet at Rocky Boy was to urge the community to register and vote Democrat.

Tester told the crowd at the Indian Tribal Chamber at the agency headquarters that they need someone who is going to listen to the Indian community.

"There are so many issues important to Indian Country and this election is so very, very important," Tester said. "To the whole country, but especially Indian Country. You have to have folks who are going to listen to you in Washington and in Helena who have an open door - who want to listen."

Bullock told those gathered at the tribal chamber that he ries to focus on economic development of Indian communities, while making efforts to preserve Native culture.

"None of that I've been doing alone," Bullock said. "None of that, I would have had the chance to do were it not for folks like you who worked real hard to make sure I got elected."

He urged the community to register and vote.

"Elections matter," Bullock said. "Elections matter to the Chippewa Cree and what's going to happen on this reservation, and we need at the state level to make sure that we see these, that we elect the folks who are saying these are sovereigns and we need to work together."

He said everyone has hopes and dreams for the children and people of the communities of Montana and the only way to fulfill these is by getting people who listen into office.

"We want to make this state better," Bullock said. "We want to make it better for that next generation."

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