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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Monica Tranel joins Montana's western district congressional race

Monica Tranel speaks during a campaign stop in Missoula, Sept. 15, 2022.
Freddy Monares
Monica Tranel speaks during a campaign stop in Missoula, Sept. 15, 2022.

Longtime Montana energy attorney and Democrat Monica Tranel on Monday announced she’ll challenge Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke for the state’s western congressional district next year.

Tranel lost to Zinke in 2022 by three points. In a statement, Tranel said, in part, “It’s time to elect someone to Congress who’s going to prioritize people who actually live and work in Montana.”

Tranel previously ran for a seat on the Public Service Commission in 2020 and lost to Republican Jennifer Fielder by a margin of 4%.

Tranel’s been in private practice for more than a decade and has also worked for the Montana Consumer Counsel, which advocates for the interests of consumers of regulated utilities.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

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