Montanans elected nine Native Americans to the state Legislature Tuesday. That’s the same as last session in 2017.
While four tribal members ran unopposed for Senate and House seats, in two races, tribal members from different parties ran against each other. Democrat Jonathan Windy Boy of the Chippewa Cree beat out fellow Chippewa Cree Republican Bruce Meyers. Tyson Running Wolf, a Blackfeet Democrat, beat fellow Blackfeet Republican K. Webb Galbreath in yesterday’s midterms.
Seventeen Native Americans ran in Montana’s primaries, according to Mark Trahant with Indian Country Today. Fourteen made it through to the general election.
The Montana Indian Caucus has previously lobbied for Medicaid expansion and tribal water compacts.
With eight House members and three senators, Native Americans will make up seven percent of the Montana Legislature this January. A Census estimate for 2017 says American Indians make up 6.7 percent of Montana’s total population.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Montana will have one Native American senator this January. One was elected November 6 and will join two current senators.