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City Desk

Candidates see second seat as opportunity


By Jim Larson

July 17, 2021


When candidate for Congress Laurie Bishop addressed her fellow Democrats at the Carpenter’s Union Hall on Thursday, she was asked, “There was a wonderful candidate, Kathleen Williams, but she ran up against what I call the good old white hair Republican good old boy network in the state of Montana. Do you feel confident that you can address that and take that on and set them back on their heels?”


Bishop agreed that Williams was an excellent candidate, but noted that she ran up against challenges that weren’t unique to Williams.


The current election offered this field of candidates a “unique opportunity,” said Bishop. With newly drawn congressional districts, a competitive environment was created. “This is a fresh moment,” the candidate said. In the current election cycle, “I think we’re holding our breath a little bit to see if Montana remembers  itself and comes back to itself  in this election cycle, and having a fresh district to start from is going to make a difference.


 House candidate Monica Tranel spoke next, and she agreed that “The second congressional seat is an opportunity to send someone to Congress who will fight the interests.”

She argued that powerful interests existed who put profit before community.

She added that Montana had a long proud tradition of sending individuals to Congress who fought for ‘democratic values.”

She pointed to Pat Williams, Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf as examples of those individuals. “I am choosing to step forward to take my place in this line of fighters for Montana democratic values, because our democracy must not be defeated.”


 The third candidate to speak was Cora Neumann.

She was, in turn,  asked how she would overcome the good old boy network.


She argued that the Democrats lost by a landslide in Montana in 2020 because they did not go door-to-door.

“Democrats cannot win in Montana if we do not shake hands, because we have to win Democrats and independents and some Republicans.” She thought that last year was a unique year for Montana Democrats, uniquely bad.

She agreed that there was an old boys club, but she noted that the new congressional seat “presents hope.”


She added that women were growing in numbers and that they were voting. The key to victory, she felt, was to get out, shake hands, and have conversations.

Photos by Jim Larson
Top photo: Laurie Bishop
Middle photo: Monica Tranel
Bottom photo: Cora Neumann



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