The political calendar has already paged forward to 2020, and endorsements are arriving at record pace with 13 months to go before Election Day.
Here is Missoula Current’s latest roundup of endorsement announcements received in recent weeks, with a brief explanation of why each group is backing a candidate.
And the countdown continues …
Denise Juneau: Montana’s former superintendent of public instruction and the current superintendent of Seattle Public Schools has endorsed Democrat Shane Morigeau in his campaign for state auditor.
Denise Juneau was the first Native American woman elected to a statewide executive office in the United States, and ran an ultimately unsuccessful congressional campaign that would have given her the first U.S House seat held by a Native American woman.
In endorsing Morigeau, Juneau had this to say: “I am endorsing my friend, Shane Morigeau, for state auditor because Shane works hard and doesn’t quit. He will bring common sense, honesty, and accountability to the auditor’s office.
“As a legislator, Shane set aside partisanship and worked across the aisle to get things done in Helena: protecting public education, lowering health care costs, safeguarding public lands, and strengthening the economy.”
Morigeau is a lifelong Montanan and a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
State legislators: Four state legislators from across Montana have endorsed Casey Schreiner for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the governor’s race.
House Minority Whip, Rep. Kim Abbott, House District 83 (Helena): “Casey’s success in moving major public policy as minority leader was a direct result of his leadership and his determination to bring people together and improve the lives of everyday Montana families. Casey exemplifies clear communication, hard work, and prioritizing the needs of real people over political fights and power grabs. He’s exactly the kind of leader I want in the governor’s office.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair, Rep. Laurie Bishop, House District 60 (Livingston): “Public service is about getting things done for the people of Montana, and that’s exactly what Casey did as minority leader. Casey has critical experience getting Democratic priorities through a Republican legislature – which is exactly why we need him in the governor’s seat. I know that as governor, Casey will do amazing things for public education, health care, and the environment in our state, and that’s why I’m supporting him.”
Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, House District 28 (Havre): “I am very proud to support my friend and mentor Casey Schreiner for governor. Casey is an incredible leader who brought people together and guided complex issues through the Montana legislature. Please join me in fighting for a candidate who has what it takes to go up against Greg Gianforte – and who truly understands the hearts of everyday Montanans.”
Rep. Kathy Kelker, House District 47 (Billings): “As a legislator, I have great respect for Casey Schreiner. His leadership was critical to getting important legislation passed. Casey exemplifies Montana values and will be a governor who makes us proud.”
EMILY’s List: The nation’s largest group actively promoting women in politics has endorsed Kathleen Williams in her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat now held by Rep. Greg Gianforte, to whom she lost in the 2016 election.
“EMILY’s List is proud to stand alongside my fellow Montanan Kathleen Williams because we know that she’ll be the deeply committed representative who working families deserve fighting for them in Congress,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a written statement. “Her experience serving as a caregiver for her ailing mother drives her desire to ensure that quality health care is affordable and accessible for all Montanans, especially those in rural communities.
“An avid hiker, she deeply values our state’s outdoor heritage and will fight to protect public lands for generations to come. Kathleen envisions an economy where all working families have the opportunity to succeed – something she championed as a state legislator and will prioritize in Congress.”
Schriock added: “After running in a very close race in 2018, Kathleen is seeking to flip this Republican-held seat and support an agenda that serves Montanans, not corporate special interests. We know Kathleen can take this competitive race across the finish line to a victory in 2020, and EMILY’s List looks forward to supporting her along the way.”