I had the unique opportunity this summer to accompany District 4 Public Service Commission candidate Monica Tranel as she biked 550 miles through the seven counties she hopes to represent.

I drove the “sag wagon,” from the Canadian/Montana border town of Roosville, through Lincoln, Sanders, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Granite and ended at the Idaho border in Ravalli county.

A group of folks gathered in Noxon at Avista park socially distanced, masks on, to listen as Monica spoke about how important it is to have experienced leadership on the PSC.

She sat at the kitchen table with a Republican rancher and his wife in Trout Creek to talk about their concerns, and the shared belief that the PSC should not be a partisan office. They agreed that her 20 years as a practicing attorney in front of the PSC matters, and from day one she could turn that experience into good work.

At a campsite visit with Mineral county folks, she talked with a 97 year old woman who cares about renewable energy.

She met with folks in Seeley Lake, and finished the day with a group in Ovando. Their concerns were the jobs that can be created in Montana by moving to renewable energy sources like wind solar and hydro and away from coal, like the rest of the world.

Monica is persistent and never to be underestimated, and she is kind. That is what we need more than ever on the PSC.

Sue Orr, Missoula