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Dems hold campaign event in Havre

Trump-adorned vehicles heckle speakers

 

Last updated 11/2/2020 at 1:53pm

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Democratic candicates wave to the people at a get-out-the-vote rally Friday at the Atrium in Havre.

Democratic candidates on the local, state, and national level visited Havre for a drive-in get-out-to-vote event at The Atrium's parking lot Friday where they encouraged people to vote, volunteer, and spread the word about their candidacies in the closing days of the campaign.

Krystal Steinmetz, a Democrat running to be the state representative for House District 28 against Republican Ed Hill, said she wants to keep Havre to be a good place to live for everyone by investing in things like quality public education and infrastructure, as well as protecting public lands and women's rights.

She also decried the increased political polarization in the state and the Havre community where she said she's seen face masks become yet another unnecessary source of political division.

"Things are so politically charged right now that it's hard to see past all the negative campaign ads, and to see our neighbors and community members fighting over whether to wear a mask in a time when we've seen over 20 people in our community die of COVID," she said.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who cannot run for that position due to term limits, is running against incumbent Republican Steve Daines for U.S. senator, was the final speaker, and said voters need someone in the Senate who will fight for them, not corporations or special interests, something he said his track record clearly demonstrates, especially when it comes to public lands, which every candidate vowed to protect.

"In a state of a million people each year," he said, "12 million visitors each year, they ain't coming for our Walmarts, they can do that at home, they're coming to enjoy those public lands."

During the speeches by the candidates a number of pickup trucks adorned with Trump related flags drove by the event several times, occasionally blasting their horns in an apparent attempt to drown out the candidates, which they did for a few minutes.

As the event went on the number of these vehicles decreased until Bullock's appearance during which many more showed up and encircled the parking lot before the candidates left, their drivers and passengers shouting.

After the event concluded and attendees began to leave the lot, seven of the Trump paraphernalia-adorned vehicles drove into the parking lot lining up in front of the staffers and crew cleaning up equipment, keeping their lights on and occasionally revving their engines.

The vehicles eventually left as fewer and fewer staff remained.

Lieutenant Gov. Mike Cooney, who is running against U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., to replace Bullock, made an appearance with his running mate, state Rep. Casey Schreiner, D-Great Falls, and reiterated his "Montana Is Not For Sale" slogan, vowing to protect affordable health care and public education, while condemning his opponent's track record as a congressman and what Cooney called his attempts to buy a political office.

Former state Rep. Kathleen Williams, D-Bozeman, a Democrat running for Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representative against Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale, said she's still hearing the same stories of struggle from Montanans about health care and economic opportunity, and that she will work to increase those things in Washington.

Democratic state Sen. Bryce Bennet is running for Montana secretary of state against Republican Deputy Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen and said his opponent's office has been plagued with corruption and incompetence, and promised to continue his track record as an advocate for voting rights.

Governor's Chief Legal Counsel Raph Graybill, a Democrat running against former Montana Speaker of the House and current Roosevelt County Attorney Austin Knudsen a Republican, to become Montana Attorney General, said he would fight current efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and said such a thing would put people who have suffered at the hands of COVID-19 at risk of being denied health insurance, and that he would work to make the justice system an institution guided by equality.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Shane Morigeau, who's running to be Montana State Auditor against Republican Troy Downing, a Big Sky businessman, said he would fight to preserve Medicaid expansion and against insurance companies that put their financial interests above the well-being of Montanans, something he said he's witnessed during his time in the legislature.

Melissa Romano, who is running for Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction against incumbent Republican Elsie Arntzen in a rematch of the 2016 election, was unable to attend the event but made a video in which she said she desired to bring competence back to the office and promised to be an advocate for public education, something she thinks her opponent has doe a poor job of being.

 

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