A state representative from Missoula announced his 2020 bid for Montana’s lone Congressional seat Tuesday.
As a first term legislator Democrat Tom Winter has carried bills to create online voter registration, legalize recreational marijuana and provide protections for pre-existing health conditions.
He says healthcare and public lands are among the issues he’d champion in Washington, D.C.
"We're working, I would argue, from such a low base of representation in Washington," Winter says. "There is not a Montana voice at the table."
Winter runs Interim Healthcare of Western Montana, an in-home care service provider, with his family in Missoula.
He flipped House District 96 last election in a race he describes as Montana in microcosm.
"I would get stuck on peoples’ porches for hours -- in a good way -- talking with them and having a beer or a cup of coffee about what their issues were, and that has so much influenced the bills I've brought to the House here and my own viewpoints," he says.
Winter is the first to announce his candidacy for the 2020 House race. Republican Greg Gianforte currently holds the seat and has not announced a run for re-election or confirmed rumors of a gubernatorial run.
Gianforte beat Democrat challenger Kathleen Williams 51 to 46 percent in 2018.
Shortly after Winter’s announcement, Kathleen Williams emailed supporters to announce a “Kathleen for Montana kickoff rally” in Billings Friday afternoon. The email doesn’t specifically say she’s running for office, or which one, but that Williams is “excited to share her future plans.”