Two more candidates have entered area legislative races.
Thompson Falls retiree Chris Gross has filed as a candidate for the area’s House District 13. Asked why voters should pick him over incumbent Rep. Bob Brown, R-Thompson Falls, and candidate Gerald Cullivier, Gross replied, “because I’m a Democrat.”
He said he doubts that Cullivier, who’s also running as a Democrat but advocates the transfer of federal lands to Montana, upholds the party’s ideals. He identified his top priorities as “funding schools, infrastructure and trying to solve problems.”
Gross brings prior experience on the Thompson Falls School District #2 Board of Trustees to this campaign, and wants to see more discussion of pressing issues like roads, schools and health care. “I just think we need to hear some new ideas about local government in our county,” he said.
Meanwhile, Republican Joe Read has entered the race for House District 93. He previously represented the neighboring House District 15 in the 2011 session, when he drew widespread attention for introducing a bill declaring global warming a benefit to Montana.
“I served everybody in my house district,” he said of his time in the House. “I didn’t lay anybody out or disenfranchise anybody.”
If elected, Read promised to defend two things: Montana’s constitution — which, in his view, “has been violated in the last session” — and U.S. laws. While skeptical about the need for much new legislation, he called on the federal government to “enforce the rules that are already on the books,” especially immigration law. He added that he would vote against a Constitutional convention, which can be called by two-thirds of state legislatures.
Read is a farmer, but says he draws most of his income from assisting with planning and logistics on disaster responses around the country. He currently faces Democrat Steve York.
Reporter Patrick Reilly can be reached at email@example.com, or at 758-4407.