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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Citing housing costs and backlash from her party, Republican legislator resigns

Mallerie Stromswold
Kevin Hudson
Montana Legislature
Mallerie Stromswold

A young Republican lawmaker has resigned two weeks into the 2023 Montana legislative session, citing logistical challenges and “significant backlash” for sometimes voting independently of her party.

Twenty-one-year-old Rep. Mallerie Stromswold of Billings announced her resignation from House District 50 on Saturday. In an open letter, she said she was proud to represent her constituents and offer her perspective as a young, female college student.

But she said the challenges that came with serving “piled up.” Stromswold pointed to the need to pay rent in both Helena and Bozeman, where she’s a student at Montana State University. Stromswold said she also faced backlash when she wouldn’t “fall in line” with her caucus, and that she could no longer serve her district the way she wanted and protect her mental health at the same time.

Stromswold served her first term in the Legislature in 2021. She sometimes voted against the majority of her party, like on a bill that would have regulated health care for transgender minors.

She said she hopes the Legislature focuses more on policy solutions and less on party divisiveness.

In a statement, Republican Speaker of the House Matt Regier said party leaders “wish her well in future endeavors.”

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