Congressional candidate Williams stops by Lewistown

By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Democratic U.S. House of Representatives candidate Kathleen Williams made an appearance in Lewistown at the Democratic Party Picnic and Potluck Thursday evening at Frank Day Park.

Photo by Charlie Denison

 

 

Just one day after Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) led a discussion on his proposal for Wilderness Study Areas at the Fergus County Sheriff’s Complex, his political opponent, Congressional candidate Kathleen Williams (D-Bozeman) made an appearance at Frank Day Park, delivering a speech during the Democratic Party picnic and potluck, which around 100 attended.

“We all need to work together to ensure that we are providing opportunity, advancing democracy and trying to pull society back from what seems like quite a scary brink,” she said at the picnic.

As of the last public poll, Williams said she is six points ahead, which she appreciates, but she said there’s more work ahead.

“This is a neck-and-neck race,” she said. “What the polls are showing is there are still a lot of people that don’t know me.”

 “It’s going to take all of us,” she said. “This is a pretty purple state, and this is going to be a horse race.” 

Williams has spent much of her career in natural resources. 

She was a member of the Environmental Quality Council while serving in the Montana Legislature and worked as an Associate Director at the Western Landowners Alliance. Much of her work has specialized in water conservation.

In 2010, Williams was elected to the House of Representatives, where she served three terms before retiring. Although born in California, where she received a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Williams has spent the last 20-plus years in Montana.

There are many issues Williams is tackling on the campaign trail. As she said she did in the legislature, Williams hopes to diversify the economy and is willing to work with people of all political stripes to get things done. 

“I love the art, science and craft of finding really unique shared interests,” Williams said. “That’s what I’ve done in my 35-year career in natural resources, bringing people together to solve really thorny issues. That’s what I was doing Wednesday in Missoula where — because Gianforte wouldn’t allow people to make public comments about Wilderness Study Areas — we did. Then he found out we were going to do it so he had one here right at the same time. Crazy.”

Williams is also passionate about health care, which she said is the topic she hears about most “broadly, deeply and urgently” across Montana.

“I have a fairly detailed healthcare plan,” she said. “We need to stabilize the Affordable Care Act. There are commitments Congress made to help reduce premiums, and those need to be fulfilled.  We need to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Rural Health Center funds in the long run rather than using them as political footballs, which keeps happening. We need to allow Medicare to bargain for drug prices like Medicaid and the DA can. Lastly, we need to allow people 55 or older to buy into Medicare and then use that as a foundation to build a national grassroots demand for everyone to move over to a better system.” 

Williams said she believes Montanans deserve better and she hopes to get an opportunity as the first woman Congressman in the state since Jeannette Rankin.

“There are opportunities to elect someone who actually listens to people and allows public comment,” Williams said. “There is an opportunity for better service, better representation, better response. These are universal interests. It doesn’t take diving into hot-button issues to improve our representation in Congress and ensure we pull back democracy from the edge and ensure that we have a safer, more productive, helpful and loving world. That’s what we need.”

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