About 150 people came to a campaign event in Missoula today for U.S. House Candidate Rob Quist. The Democrat called it a "rally for public lands."
Quist addressed the crowd on a warm, sunny afternoon, wearing his usual cowboy hat:
"Our outdoor life is what makes us who we are. It doesn't matter if you’re from the eastern side of Montana or the western side. It doesn’t matter if you're Republican or Democrat, Independent or Libertarian. These are common values that are important to all of us."
In a ten-minute speech, Quist said, "when multi-millionaires look at mountains and streams, they probably think that would be good to own, but Montanans say this is our way of life."
Quist said he will work to fully fund and reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and to support local forest management proposals to expand access to, and "put more Montanans to work in our forests."
Quist accused his opponent, Republican Greg Gianforte, of wanting to sell off public lands, a claim Gianforte has consistently refuted.
After the rally, Megan McNamery said Rob Quist is the perfect pick:
"He’s got a stellar reputation as a decent guy, a very warm and personable and caring person with a long history of connection to the land and also the people who inhabit this place, and if there's anyone who really believe in the common good, it's someone like Rob Quist."
McNamery said a big issue Quist didn't mention in today's speech was healthcare, but she said Quist will address that in the coming weeks.
News broke yesterday that both Quist and Gianforte had tax liens filed against them in the past. Rally attendee Kit Fischer said that didn’t concern him:
"No, in fact, I think that makes Rob more authentic as a Montanan, knowing that Montanans have had these problems. A lot of us have had debt, and a lot of debt is related to healthcare issues … and to have someone with that kind of experience in Washington is just the kind of person we need."