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Bachmeier, Burns, Sivertsen face off in HD 28 race: Jacob Bachmeier, Democrat


October 10, 2018

Jacob Bachmeier

Montana Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, D-Havre, is running for re-election for his seat in legislature representing House District 28, facing off against independent candidate Bob Sivertsen and Libertarian candidate Conor Burns.

He said, as a young person, he has the time, energy and passion to continue to effectively represent the community in the best way possible.

Bachmeier was born in Havre in 1998 and has lived in Havre all of his life, he said. He graduated from Havre High School in 2016 and is attending college at Montana State University-Northern, where he is studying secondary education. He said he is considering changing his major to criminology because he is considering a career in law enforcement.

Law enforcement, Bachmeier said, deeply fascinates him and is a field he thinks he could contribute a lot to.  

In 2014, he became politically involved, working on a couple of campaigns with former Montana Sen. and Public Service Commissioner Greg Jergeson, when Jergeson ran an unsuccessful campaign to return to the Senate. Bachmeier said he was also a volunteer with Gov. Steve Bullock's campaign for office.

In 2016, Bachmeier made his first bid for an elected office, running for election in Montana House District 28 and won.

Bachmeier said he is working with various political organizations besides his own campaign for re-election for state Legislature. That includes working with a group called the Montana Victory Team, which is campaigning for the re-election of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. Tester faces Montana Republican Auditor Matt Rosendale and Libertarian Rick Breckenridge in the November election.

As chair of the Hill County Democratic Party, Bachmeier also is working toward getting Democrat Doug Kaercher of Havre and Democrat Paul Tuss elected.

Kaercher who is running against Republican Randy Pinocci of Sun Ricer, for a seat on the Public Service Commission and Tuss is running against Montana Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester, for the seat in Senate District 14.

Bachmeier said he was born and raised in this community, and as someone who is going to continue to make his life here, he is very invested in the development of the community, infrastructure and the creation of jobs for every day Montanans.

"I've been so proud and honored to represent this community for the last two years," he said.

He added that he looks forward to continuing to fight for Montana, fighting for resources along the Hi-Line to create development.

Bachmeier said he has a deep understanding of Montana's outdoor heritage, and the security of public lands is a subject that is very important to him and something that is fundamental to people's culture.

"As someone who wants to begin the rest of his life in this community and have a family here," Bachmeier said, "protecting our outdoor heritage and increasing public lands is something that I'm really excited to continue to fight for."

Another subject that Bachmeier said is important to him is the strength of the public education system.

"I think that with my experience of going through Havre Public Schools and now being a student at Northern, I think I've got a good understanding of this community's education system."

Bachmeier said the budget cuts made when the Legislature went into a special session last fall to deal with projected revenue shortfalls were "deeply tragic and unnecessary."

He said he fought hard last session to secure a responsible budget and adequate revenue for the people of Montana and the state's most vulnerable people who have been affected by these cuts.

"I was disappointed that not all of my colleagues shared the same vision," Bachmeier said. "I think going into the 2018 session, continuing to fight for everyday Montanans is something that I'm going to be very passionate about."

Because of last year's session, one of the biggest issues Montana will face in the next legislative session is to make sure the state is going to have adequate revenue, he said.

The state needs to come up with a better tax system, Bachmeier said, one that is more fair to everyday working Montanans.

Bachmeier said he supports the state raising the capital gains tax for people earning more than a million dollars a year. Bachmeier said this is going to be critical to create a tax structure that is more fair and provide adequate funding for the state.

Public lands will also be a big issue he will focus on, he said. Thousands of blocked areas exist in the state, Bachmeier said, which is something the Legislature should work to correct. The state should make sure it is dealing appropriately with property owners like the Wilks brothers - wealthy Texans who own large amounts of Montana land - and putting fines in place for people who are blocking access to public lands that are a part of Montana heritage, he said

In 2019, if the Medicaid expansion isn't continued by the voters passing Initiative 185, the Montana Legislature will have to be faced with a decision on what the future of the program is going to be, Bachmeier said.

He said he thinks the debate will come down to how the Legislature will create a way to sustain the Medicaid program for rural communities, such as Havre.

Members of Montana's low-income working class are the most-vulnerable people in every community and should be protected, Bachmeier added.

Bachmeier's grandfather recently died due to brain cancer, and he said it has been tough to campaign after seeing what his grandfather had been going through. He said his grandfather was his biggest supporter in 2016 and worked hard to get him elected.

"Ultimately, what I'm doing in the Legislature is fighting for people like my grandpa and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing," Bachmeier said.

"I've been deeply humbled to represent this community and I think that I have Havre running through my blood," he said. "I'm excited to continue to work to represent this community and I look forward to continuing building my family here and my work life here."


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