When a voter in Montana – a state with 1 million people and two senators – casts a ballot in a U.S. Senate race, that vote packs 38 times the wallop of a vote cast in California – a state with 38 million people and two senators.
That’s a vote you don’t want to waste.
This year Montanans will choose between Republican Steve Daines, a sitting member of the U.S. House, and Democrat Amanda Curtis, a one-term state lawmaker and a newcomer to the national political scene. Daines is our choice. Here’s why:
Curtis was thrust into a nearly impossible situation when former Lt. Gov. John Walsh withdrew from the race amid a plagiarism scandal. She has met the challenge with courage and hard work, and would bring a badly needed young, working woman’s perspective to a chamber largely populated by rich, old men.
While we see Curtis as a rising star in the Democratic Party, she came to the race too late with too few resources and too little experience. This contest clearly belongs to Daines, who brings two years of experience on Capitol Hill to the job, as well as years as a private sector businessman. Voters should support him, and we urge Daines not to take that support lightly. There are things we would like to see in Daines should he prevail in November.
In a world of hyperbolic attack ads, many of which are paid for by out-of-state “dark” money, candidates are portrayed in extreme terms, and Daines is no exception. Face-to-face, though, Daines voices pragmatic positions on immigration, climate change and the designation of more wilderness areas on public lands.
If Daines wins, we urge him to work with Montana’s senior senator, Democrat Jon Tester, particularly on issues related to the management of public lands, issues that are so important to Montanans. And if he can successfully cultivate that relationship, a delegation of Daines and Tester – one Republican and one Democrat – can represent well the diverse but mostly moderate positions of the vast majority of Montanans.
Congress has been deadlocked for years in a swamp of ideological zealotry. The country needs statesmen and women who are willing to bend and create compromise. We trust that Daines can be one of those statesmen in the U.S. Senate.