Students in Helena are hosting a town hall meeting this evening to talk about solutions to gun violence. But their goal of having large non-partisan representation at the event doesn’t look like it’ll happen.
Leaders of the Helena Youth Against Gun Violence Group say they’ve invited all 17 candidates in the primary races for U.S. House and Senate to what they’re calling a Town Hall For Our Lives. However as of this morning, only five of the candidates, two Greens and three Democrats have said they’ll show up.
Nathan Hartnett is a student at Capital High School and one of the leaders of the group. Hartnett says he leans more conservative than some of the other group members, and he’s disappointed that no Republicans are scheduled to show up to the event. He says it’s going to take a nonpartisan effort to bring meaningful change.
“It feels kind of weird because they are our candidates, they are trying to run for this office, so they should be able to talk to every single one the people they’re representing. So we would just love it if they showed up. But that’s all we can hope for I guess,” he says.
As of this morning, the list of candidates attending the event included: Green Party Candidates Doug Campbell and Steve Kelly who are running for Montana’s U.S. House and Senate seats, respectively; Democrats Grant Kier, Kathleen Williams, and John Meyer who are competing in their party’s primary for the U.S. House race.
Other Democrat and Libertarian candidates have sent written statements that’ll be read at the event. Republicans were asked to provide statements as well, but none responded, according to Helena Youth Against Gun Violence.
The Town Hall For Our Lives event is expected to run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., April 27, 2018 in the Helena Middle School Auditorium.
The group expects to stream the event live on Facebook and Instagram.