By Tim Leeds 

Tuss files for House seat


Last updated 2/15/2022 at 12:35pm

Paul Tuss

Paul Tuss has announced he will file as a Democrat as a candidate in the race for House District 28.

First-year Rep. Ed Hill, R-Havre, has filed for reelection in the race.

The two are the only announced candidates in the race for the district, which primarily includes most of Havre.

"I am entering this race to bring common-sense solutions and a voice of reason to the Montana Legislature," Tuss said in a release announcing his candidacy.

"Unfortunately, in today's political climate, compromise, bipartisanship and working together for the common good seem to be values of a bygone era. I hope to do what is possible to change that so the ideals and values of honest, hard working Montana families make their way into the priorities of state government. My commitment to the residents of House District 28 is to fight hard for those issues that make this community a great place to raise a family and start a business."

Tuss, a widower with two adult children, Dolan and Caroline, moved to Havre after serving as head of the economic development agency in Glacier County. He has served as executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp. for 22 years, served on the Board of Regents of Higher Education including as chair, is an officer of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on Montana State University-Northern's Business Advisory Board.

He ran for Montana secretary of state in 2000, losing in the primary to Hal Harper, who lost the general election to Bob Brown.

Tuss also ran for the state Senate in 2018, losing in the general election to Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester.

Tuss said in his release Monday that he intends to wage an aggressive, grassroots campaign that will emphasize issues that are particularly important to Havre and rural northern Montana, including proper funding for Montana State University-Northern and public education, infrastructure improvements, access to public lands, support for law enforcement and policies that promote small business growth.

"I have worked in Montana's economic development field for nearly three decades and fully understand what makes our communities vibrant, attractive places," Tuss said in the release. "I now want to put that experience to work for Havre and northern Montana in the Montana Legislature."

Tuss also announced the formation of a 20-member campaign steering committee which includes a broad cross-section of area residents endorsing his candidacy, with Patrick Contruction owner Tom Patrikc and Montana State University-Northern Chief Diversity Officer, Advisor to the Chancellor and Tribal Liaison Margaret Campbell, Ph.D, co-chairing the committee.

Other members are

• Treasturer Debbie Rhines, owner of Schine Electric;

• Russ Stinnett, secretary/treasurer and local chairman, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees

• Arlene Rice, owner, Hi-Line Chemical

• Richard Sangrey, chief of staff, Chippewa Cree Tribe

• Cody McLain, vice president, Havre Firefighters Local 601

• Jess Jones, president, Havre Education Association

• Heather Parker, Havre City Council Member

• Jeff Hockett, Hockett Farms

• Karen Swenson, former Havre City Council member

• Tim Solomon, former Mayor, city of Havre

• Krystal Steinmetz, marketing and events director, Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line

• Doug Kaercher, mayor, City of Havre

• Claire Stoner, DJ Farming Inc.

• Jay Pyette, former Havre City Council member

• Terry Lilletvedt, former Havre City Council member

• Mike Shortell, former chief of police, city of Havre

• Lindsey Ratliff, Havre City Council Member

• John Musgrove, former member of the Montana House of Representatives

Rep. Ed Hill. R-Havre

"I am honored and humbled with the folks in Havre and the region who have agreed to publicly endorse my candidacy, including Republicans, Democrats, business owners, Native Americans, railroad union officers, public school teachers, farmers, local government officials, former legislators and those with a law enforcement background," Tuss said in the release. "These individuals all agree that finding common ground to solve the problems we face in Montana is far more important than what political party you belong to."


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