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Montana GOP Gathering In Missoula For Platform Convention

Corin Cates-Carney
Greg Gianforte speaks to GOP party members during their Platform Convention in Missoula on Friday.

Montana Republicans met today at the Missoula Hilton Garden Hotel for day one of their party’s biggest fundraising event of the year. They spent the day teeing up issues for tomorrow’s vote on the party’s platform. 

More than a hundred and fifty Republicans gathered to discuss and vote on party issues and platform planks.

Montana GOP Chairman Jeff Essmann says the most important issues for the local GOP this election year are jobs and the economy.

“We’re in real danger in Montana of having our economy being hollowed out, ” he said. 

Essmann said the party was concerned about the announcement this week that the lumber company Weyerhaeuser is closing two mills in Columbia Falls.

Essmann said there are also threats to jobs in the state’s coal industry, specifically in Colstrip.

The party’s gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has pushed high-wage jobs as a key issue in his campaign. He spoke during today’s event.

“This is the root issue. Jobs and opportunity are created only in the private sector, not through government programs,” he said.

Other platform issues include taxation, agriculture, immigration, education and others.

Party members will vote to adopt stances on those issues tomorrow. The second day of the convention will also feature speeches from the Montana GOP candidates for State Auditor, Secretary of State and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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