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HomePoliticsMontana PoliticsTranel hopeful for different outcome in rematch campaign

Tranel hopeful for different outcome in rematch campaign

In a recent conversation with the Flathead Beacon, Democratic U.S. House candidate Monica Tranel argued Montanans are ready for moderate policy solutions.

“What I’m hearing on the ground is, ‘What are ways that we can come together?’ There is just a total exhaustion with the chaos. What’s happening in the U.S. House right now is just totally unacceptable. It’s chaos. It’s the circus. It’s anarchy,” she told the Flathead Beacon. “What I hear is, I don’t want the chaos. It doesn’t serve our community.”

At her July launch event in Kalispell, Tranel told attendees that Montanans were worn out by political division, ready for real policy solutions and sick and tired of Zinke.“Our work now is to overcome the division of the red and the blue and to dust off the purple DNA of our home, of our state, and to work together for real solutions,” she said.

Montana historically had one at-large U.S. House member until the 2020 Census, which resulted in the state gaining an additional representative and dividing into two U.S. House districts. Despite recent Republican dominance in Montana’s politics, Democrats consider the western U.S. House district a significant battleground for the 2024 elections. This perception is largely attributed to the efforts of the Democrat-controlled redistricting committee, which strategically drew district boundaries favorably for Democrat candidates.

The district includes reliably Democrat areas such as Missoula, Butte, Deer Lodge, as well as the Flathead and Blackfeet Native Reservations. Tranel, who secured victories in Missoula, Gallatin, Silver Bow, and Deer Lodge in 2022, ultimately attained only 46% of the total vote.

Some political observers and Democratic strategists speculate that the inclusion of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s name on the ballot could work in Tranel’s favor. Tester, the sole Democrat elected statewide, might provide additional support for Tranel’s campaign.

Tranel, 57, an environmental lawyer from Big Horn, Wyoming, has unsuccessfully run for the Public Service Commission twice, lost a race for Helena City Commission in 2015 and in 2022 lost the western district congressional race to Ryan Zinke.  She currently lives in Missoula with her third husband, former Democrat state legislator Greg Lind.

By: Montana Newsroom staff


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