Montana democrat musician Rob Quist joins candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke

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Montana musician Rob Quist joins candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke

Rob Quist, of Mission Mountain Wood Band fame, will seek the Montana Democratic Party’s nomination to replace the state’s lone congressman, Republican Ryan Zinke. Quist made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon. “It’s kind of wild how it all goes down,” Quist told The Gazette.

Poll: Who will you vote for to replace Congressman Ryan Zinke in a special election?

Rob Quist, of Mission Mountain Wood Band fame, will seek the Montana Democratic Party’s nomination to replace the state’s lone congressman, Republican Ryan Zinke.

Quist made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s kind of wild how it all goes down,” Quist told The Gazette. “I was approached by people who I really respect and they asked me to run. And my first thought was ‘Wait a minute, I’m not a politician,’ ” Quist said. “Their response was, ‘exactly.’ ”

Rep. Zinke, is Presidential-elect Donald Trump’s, nominee to be interior secretary. The congressman could be confirmed by a full vote of U.S. Senate in the next few weeks.

Zinke would have to resign his House seat upon confirmation, which would trigger a Montana special election to replace him no later than 100 days after his resignation.

The state’s major political parties would then hold nominating conventions to select candidates for the election. County-level committee members for each party would decide who ran in the special election. Several would-be candidates have expressed interest for both the GOP and Democratic parties.

Quist hasn’t held elected office, but he outlined several years of public service in his campaign announcement.

“I have worked with our state government and many of our state’s organizations and citizens to promote harmony, cooperation and a common vision for our state,” Quist said. “I feel that I am uniquely qualified for this role because I have spent a lifetime traveling the state working with and getting to know the concerns and the needs of my fellow Montanans.”

Quist is an award winning entertainer who became a household name in Montana in the 1970s because of his work with the Mission Mountain Wood Band.

Quist was an 11-year member of the Montana Arts Council, appointed first by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer and reappointed by Gov. Steve Bullock. He recently stepped down from the Arts Council.

He has been a state ambassador to Montana’s sister state in Kumamoto, Japan. He also served as spokesman and advocate for the Montana Food Bank.

Recently, Quist received a grant from the Montana Office of Public Instruction to develop anti-bullying programs and a “Native Oral Traditions” program to enhance the arts in public schools.

Quist is a native of Cut Bank and comes from a ranching family. That background has given him understating about the challenges faced by Montana’s farmers and ranchers, as well as the impact of international grade on Montana’s economy.

He lives in the Flathead Valley with his wife, Bonni.

Other Democrats interested in Montana’s only congressional seat include state legislators Kelly McCarty of Billings, Amanda Curtis of Butte and Casey Schreiner of Great Falls.

Republicans who have said they are interested include state legislators Ed Buttrey of Great Falls, Daniel Zolnikov of Billings and Scott Sales of Bozeman. Others include Ronald Reagan appointee Gary Carlson, Bozeman businessman Eugene Graf IV and District Court Judge Russell Fagg of Billings.

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Poll: What Do You Think Should Be Montana’s Official State Dog Breed?

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NOTE: If it is not an official dog breed or a duplicate, it will be removed. If you just want to be silly, detail your choice more or just be a smart ass, please do it in the comments below. NOT in the poll 🙂

Twelve states currently have an official state dog. Montana doesn’t. According to Google Trends, the most widely googled dog in MT is the Irish Wolfhound. Which breed do you believe should become the official dog of Montana?

Remember! Some are taken, please check here first! Select up to two current answers or add your choices below.

Which dog breed do you believe should become the official state dog of Montana?
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Missoula man starts ‘sanctuary city’ campaign to fend off Trump’s mass deportation threats

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Missoula man starts ‘sanctuary city’ campaign to fend off Trump’s mass deportation threats – Missoula Current

By Martin Kidston A Missoula man has launched a grassroots campaign urging the City Council to declare Missoula a sanctuary city, saying immigration is not a policy, but rather it’s part of the nation’s fabric.

By Martin Kidston

A Missoula man has launched a grassroots campaign urging the City Council to declare Missoula a sanctuary city, saying immigration is not a policy, but rather it’s part of the nation’s fabric.

Geoff Easton, a Missoula native, said the status as a sanctuary city would go far in combating what he sees as a rising tide of hate brought on by the nation’s newly elected president, Donald Trump.

“President-elect Trump has announced plans to deport millions of undocumented people living within our country,” Easton said. “Many of these people are just like you and me, trying to raise a family, pay bills, pay taxes, and create a better life than the one they left.”

Easton didn’t mince words when describing his views of the nation’s new president, at one point calling Trump a “racist demagogue” who stands contrary to the nation’s longstanding values.

From all corners of the globe, Easton said, America is viewed as a place of freedom, opportunity and “a democracy of many.” Immigration is not a policy, he added, but rather “it’s who we are.”

“The city of Missoula and you, our elected leaders, have the opportunity to make a powerful statement in support of these people who are trying to get what we often take for granted – a chance at the American dream,” Easton told members of the council.

More than 30 cities across the country have adopted sanctuary status including large metros, from New York and Los Angeles, to smaller cities like Tuscon, Arizona, and Santa Anna, California.

Several mayors have said they will defy any Trump deportation order and remain a sanctuary city, including Chicago and Boston, where Mayor Marty Walsh said his city won’t compromise its values under a Trump presidency.

Of the nation’s 31 sanctuary cites, 13 are located in the West.

“This is a group we should join,” Easton said. “It’s a real tangible way to combat the rise of hate in our country.”

By definition, a sanctuary city is one that adopts local policies that avoid prosecuting someone solely for being an undocumented individual. The term generally applies to cities that do not direct municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws.

That includes policies that forbid local police officers or municipal employees from inquiring about one’s immigration status. Trump has threatened to cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities on his first day in office, scheduled for Jan. 20, 2017.

“The president-elect has threatened to cut off funds to all 31 sanctuary cities in the U.S.” Easton said. “This is an empty threat, as no rational person can assume that cutting off aid to our biggest metropolitan areas is politically feasible.”

Easton’s grassroots push to add Missoula to the nation’s ranks of sanctuary cities came with quick and harsh criticism from some local conservatives, including Kandi Matthew Jenkins.

Jenkins, a regular opponent of nearly everything the Missoula City Council does, said she was “appalled” by Easton’s suggestion.

“Missoula has become part of a psycho-political operation, and what I’ve just heard hurts this country all together,” Jenkins said. “America has the right to close its borders to people coming here that aren’t legal, many who cause crimes. I am appalled that anyone in Missoula would want to become a sanctuary city.”

Jenkins’ son, John, was more direct in his criticism of Easton and his campaign.

“Geoff Easton, how dare you call the newly elected president a quote, ‘racist demagogue,’ ” John Jenkins said. “Becoming a sanctuary city would send an important message? Apparently you didn’t get the message, Mr. Easton, because millions of American voters of all races, including immigrants, voted for a different policy that respects our borders and our laws.”

The city has taken no action on Easton’s campaign, though on Facebook, the reaction was mixed. Many supported Easton’s efforts and promised to join him in persuading the city take action. Others, however, did not.

“You sir are a fucking liberal idiot!” one man wrote.

In reply, Easton wrote, “Let’s be clear on one thing: I’m not a fucking liberal idiot. I’m fucking socialist idiot.”

Contact reporter Martin Kidston at info@missoulacurrent.com

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