Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Democrat Enters Special Congressional Election With A Splash

Montana Democrat Enters Special Congressional Election With A Splash
Montana Democrat Enters Special Congressional Election With A Splash

The confirmation of Montana’s at-large Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke to head the Interior Department could come as soon as next week. Democrat Dan West says he's best prepared to replace Zinke and navigate Washington D.C.'s turbulent waters.

Dan West loves kayaking. The Missoula native loves it so much he used to be a professional kayak instructor. So perhaps it's only natural that he uses the sport in a new campaign video that's circulating on the internet. Decked out in a dry top and paddling in an ice cold Montana river, West declares:
"If you want a representative who’s tough and represents all Montanans, pick me. I’m ready to dive in." 

The 30-year-old West spent the past five years working on Capitol Hill; first as a staffer for former Montana Senator Max Baucus, then for former Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Most recently he's worked as a political appointee at NASA under the Obama Administration.

West says he best suited to parlay that experience into something better for Montana:

"I’m the only one who knows how Capitol Hill works. I'm the only one who's worked in Washington D.C., and this is our one seat in the House of Representatives. I already have relationships up on the Hill. I have bipartisan relationships there."

West joins a slew of Democrats and Republicans who say they want to replace Ryan Zinke if he's confirmed to lead Interior. A special election to select Zinke's successor would be held under those circumstances 85 to 100 days after his resignation

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
(406) 243-4065
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content