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Republican Ed Hill starts new chapter of his life with campaign for House District 28


Last updated 2/14/2020 at 11:58am

Ed Hill

Havre Public School Board member Ed Hill has recently thrown his hat into the race for House District 28, filing last Thursday as a Republican candidate for the election.

"It's just a new chapter in my life," he said.

Hill will be squaring off against Democrat Krystal Steinmetz in the race for House District 28, which is now held by Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, D-Havre, who is not running for re-election.

Hill said he was born and raised in Havre and has lived in Havre for most of his life. Right after graduating from Havre High School he got a job with BNSF Railway, he said, adding that the first 10 years he was with the railroad he traveled across the state and found Havre was the place he wanted to be.

After 41 years with the railroad, most of those years working in the diesel shop, he retired, he said.

"Retirement is just kind of a word to me," Hill said.

Becoming a legislator takes a lot of time and commitment, he said. He added that people cannot work a full time job and be an effective legislator because for four months out of the year they have to be in Helena working for the people. He said that since he is retired he has the time and energy to spend in fighting for Montanans in the Legislature.

He added that although he retired he has been very active in the community. Hill said he has been a volunteer with the ski patrol for the Snow Dance Ski Association for 21 years, is currently serving on the school board for his second term and sits on the council for his church.

He said he also served in the Army National Guard for a period of time in his late 20s.

It is important to give back to the community, he said. He added that through volunteering he feels he has a good pulse on Havre and can do a good job representing Havre and fighting for what the town needs.

He has been married to his wife for 28 years, he said. He added that his wife, Heidi, is also acting as the treasurer for his campaign. Hill said that being married for 28 years gives him a good outlook on life.

"Whether you are married, you have a co-worker, a brother, sister, neighbor, life is kind of all about relationships and you just need to get along," he said. "A smile doesn't cost anything."

He added that while growing up, both of his parents were blue collar workers. He said that he didn't grow up with a lot but he grew up with everything he needed. His parents were very fiscally responsible and taught him the importance of being conservative and smart with his finances.

"I'm grateful looking back at the way I was raised," Hill said.

He added that the lessons he learned from his parents were something that, during his later years on the railroad, he tried to pass on to the younger employees.

Just because someone works on the railroad doesn't mean they are rich, he said, people need to be smart when handling their money.

"It's important to have a budget and be conservative," he said.

Hill said that the fact the Legislature has passes a budget every session is something he admires and something he wants to learn more about.

"I'm sure that's a lot easier said than done," he said.

He added that he is a strong Conservative and believes that the government needs to be kept to a minimum. One of the biggest problems in the state is too much government overreach. He added that the government needs to be more transparent and also needs to better support businesses.

There are a lot of benefits to the tax system, Hill said, but the state and federal governments have too many "parachute" programs, such as housing, food assistance and medical assistance. He added that he finds nothing inherently wrong with those programs but believes they are overused and make people reliant on the programs rather than motivating them to contribute to their communities.

"I think the intent of those programs are for somebody who came upon rough times," Hill said. "... I don't think those were set up to be a way of life."

He said that, if elected, he wants to work toward seeing the state incentivise businesses and assure the state does not expand and increase taxes. Montanans have a large tax burden and is something that heavily affects people's lives.

"It's gotta stop somewhere. We just need to be more efficient," he said.

Something the state needs to be doing is also insentivising businesses, he said. He added that he would like to see some government programs which would encourage local businesses, although he believes those businesses should also be held accountable and need a policy to assure people cannot take advantage and abuse programs.

Hill said that as a legislator he is unsure of the things he should be expecting, but he is eager to learn and is sure he can make good decisions that will benefit the area.

"I need to do my part," he said. "... We need to find better ways to make the government more efficient."

He added that he is a strong believer in the Second Amendment and is pro life.

Hill said that he has been on the sidelines for a number of years and is good friends with Kris Hansen, who was the state representative for Havre for two terms and was the state senator for one term. He added that his wife, Heidi, was also her treasurer during her campaign. He said he is also friends with Stephanie Hess Cody, who was the Representative for Havre before being defeated by Bachmeier in 2016.

Hill said that he has been around the political world for a number of years and during that time he has been watching and learning about what the qualities of a good legislator are.

He added that being born and raised in Havre he remembers what Havre used to be like and would like to help rebuild the community he loves.

While serving on the school board he has been a part of the process of hiring, firing, making disciplinary decisions and working to make capital improvements to the high school, such as remodeling the bathrooms in the school, he said. He added that he would like to take what he learned there and from his other experiences and bring it to the Legislature to work for Havre and the state.


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