Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress Kathleen Williams made a couple campaign stops in the Flathead at the end of February.
Williams spoke with Flathead Democrats at fundraising events in Whitefish and Kalispell. A couple dozen people showed up to each event to grill her with questions for more than an hour.
In Kalispell, the main issue in question was healthcare. Williams calls it one of her top five issues.
"What I think is going to be incredibly helpful is allow people 55 and over to buy into Medicare, and use that group as the foundation of a national dialogue about single payer," Williams said.
The discussion on healthcare took up the majority of the evening, but people also asked about Williams’ stance on gun control (she supports banning assault weapons and bump stocks), what she’ll do for small ranchers and farmers (she’s looking into rural development programs under the federal Farm Bill), and how she’ll get past partisan gridlock on the campaign trail (she says she focuses on points of agreement to form the basis of a conversation).
Williams says her background as a former state representative, the daughter of a World War II veteran and the wife of an Iraq war vet, and her experience with natural resource management and policy make her a strong candidate, not only against the field of Democrats she’ll face in the June primaries, but against sitting Congressman Greg Gianforte in the November general election.
"Relationships and connections are what make our candidacy extremely viable against Greg Gianforte, and that's why I entered even though there were two candidates that got in three months ahead," she said. "I’m tired of losing, and I think this background is really what is going to beat Gianforte."
Williams joined three of the four other Democrats vying for Gianforte’s seat in Bozeman Feburary 24 for a debate and fundraiser hosted by the Gallatin County Democrats.