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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana U.S. House Candidates Announce Debate Schedule


The U.S. House candidates announced an agreement to face-off in a series of 4 debates in Montana.

The candidates agreed to debate in Frazer on the Fort Peck Reservation, Billings, and Great Falls.  The campaigns want to hold a debate on the Crow Reservation, but the details have yet to be finalized.

Heather Swift is the deputy campaign manager and spokeswoman for Incumbent Ryan Zinke. She said the Republican is excited to bring debates to Eastern Montana, particularly on the reservations.

“We have a great cross section of ag, rural and urban,” said Swift. “I think it’s going to be a really great opportunity for the voters of Montana from across the state to really hear from both of their candidates, to hear the contrast of Congressman Zinke brings to candidate Juneau.”

Zinke was elected to the U.S. House in 2014 to fill the seat vacated when then-Congressman Steve Daines decided to run for an open U-S Senate seat rather than seek re-election.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau is challenging Zinke on this fall’s general election ballot.

The Democrat looks forward to debating Zinke on issues important to Montana.

“Having him be accountable to the record that he has in Congress. Transferring management of public lands, of cutting and slashing Pell Grants, of cutting access to women’s health, just a lot of issues that I look forward to hearing him answer to the Montana public,” Juneau said.

Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows will be invited to participate.

·      Fort Peck Reservation atFrazerSchool, August 29, 2016 at 7 pm, sponsored by theMcCone, Roosevelt, and Valley Montana Farm Bureaus, moderated by the Glasgow Courier and Yellowstone Public Radio.

·      Billings debate, Sept. 1, 2016 at 7 p.m., Petro Theater, Montana State University-Billings campus. Panelists: TomLuteyof The Billings Gazette, JackieYamanakaof Yellowstone Public Radio andKULR8.

·      Great Falls, Oct. 5, 2016 Heritage Hall at Great Falls College MSU, debate to be hosted by the Montana Farmers Union and the Great Falls Tribune.

Both campaigns would like to hold a debate on the Crow Nation and are committed to working with tribal leaders to help facilitate such an event.  Media partners KULR8, Billings Gazette and Yellowstone Public Radio have also agreed to help moderate, publicize and cover the event.  The campaigns continue to be in discussions about other possible debates. Yellowstone Public Radio is planning to carry the Billings and Great Falls debates “live” and will make a feed available to other state media.YPRis working with the sponsors on the other two sites on the Reservations to see if those debates can also be carried ‘live” or tape delayed.

Copyright 2016 Yellowstone Public Radio

Jackie Yamanaka
Jackie Yamanaka has been news director at YPR since 1986. From her home base in Billings, Jackie covers a wide range of issues across Montana and Wyoming. During the Montana Legislative session, she re-locates to the state Capitol in Helena where she has another office.
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