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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Essmann: GOP Wins Should Help Unify Montana Republicans

Jeff Essmann, chairman of the Montana Republican Party.
Courtesy Montana Legislature

Montana’s Republican leadership says GOP wins here on Election Day are helping advance their long-term plan of tipping the state from at times purple, to completely red.

Republicans swept all of the statewide positions outside of the governor’s office on Election Day, while continuing their majority in the state Legislature. They also maintained their monopoly in the Public Service Commission.

State GOP Chairman Jeff Essmann says he expects Republicans in Montana to mend the rift between the more moderate and conservative members of the party. 

"I believe we will see better unity in the Republican caucuses in both the House and the Senate, because I believe the policy initiatives coming out of Washington D.C., which is also now under Republican control, will be on issues that tend to unite Republicans in Montana, rather than divide us."

He says one of those issues is the state’s natural resource extraction economy, including support for oil, gas and coal leasing.

Essmann says he expects President-elect Donald Trump to work toward his promise to improve the country’s  economy. But Essmann says he hasn’t heard any detailed plans on how that is going to happen.

"But I’m sure that there is going to be a very active first 100 days in office for him."

The Republican caucus will elect their majority leadership for Montana’s 2017 Legislature Monday morning. Essmann says those selections will likely indicate the policy priorities of the party during the session.

He says one of those goals is reducing Montana’s income tax.

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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