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Gianforte Bringing Trump Jr., Quist Rallies Hundreds

Rob Quist at a campaign rally at MAP Brewing in Bozeman
Eric Whitney
Rob Quist at a campaign rally at MAP Brewing in Bozeman

On the day that Republican Candidate for Congress Greg Gianforte announced that Donald Trump Jr. is coming to Montana to help him raise money, his Democratic opponent Rob Quist drew about 300 people to a rally in Bozeman.

Quist held three rallies Tuesday; in Great Falls, Lewistown and Red Lodge. The Bozeman event was Wednesday, where an after-work hour crowd spilled out of the back of MAP Brewing.

Martin Coleman came, saying it was the first candidate event he'd ever attended.

"Really, I think this is a referendum against Donald Trump," Coleman said.

Kiersten Iwai, a Bozeman conservationist who introduced Quist, rallied the crowd with her anger, telling them, "Most of all, I identify as someone who is pissed off at Congress right now!"

Quist got enthusiastic responses by vowing to protect public lands, oppose government for the wealthy, and champion healthcare issues.

"I support a woman's right to choose!" he said, evoking a loud cheer. 

Quist is aggressively touring the state holding public events, but is being outspent on television ads by groups that back his Republican opponent, Greg Gianforte. Gianforte is not advertising public events. On Wednesday, his campaign invited supporters to buy tickets to “meet Donald TrumpJr. in Montana”in Kalispell, Hamilton, Billings and Bozeman April 21st and 22nd, tickets start at $35 each.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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