On Tuesday, congressional hopeful Grant Kier became the second challenger in the race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republicans for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat in 2018. Kier, a Missoula resident, made the announcement to a crowd of about 80 at the newly-built Kettlehouse Amphitheatre in Bonner.
"I’m running for Congress because right now I actually think that Montanans are tired of politicians who point fingers and divide us," he said. "I think we’re tired of politicians who benefit from big fights and business as usual, and I think we’re tired of politicians who make really flashy promises and fail to deliver."
Kier was raised in Colorado, and is a geologist with a background in the oil and gas industries. He moved to Montana in 2005 with his wife, who teaches at the University of Montana. For the last decade, Kier was the Executive Director of the Five Valleys Land Trust, a nonprofit that focuses on conservation. The 42-year old Kier stepped down from that position at the end of August.
His campaign announcement comes one month after Billings attorney John Heenan stepped forward as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In an announcement on his Facebook page Heenan said his experience as a lawyer is evidence that he can represent Montanans in Congress.
"I'm a small business owner and a lawyer," he said in the video. "I'm not a farmer but I've represented many farmers that have been ripped off by out of state businesses that don't play by the same rules that we do."
Montana’s house seat is currently occupied by Republican Greg Gianforte who won it in a special election last May.