Elected Democratic Officials

Senator Jon Tester

Senator Jon Tester

United States Senator (Re-elected Nov '18)

Erin Cox, candidate for County Auditor

Erin Cox

County Auditor (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation: County Auditor’s Office

Goals:

  • Maintain transparency by keeping all internal audits public through the county website
  • Internal checks and balances to guarantee an efficient and effectively running office and county
  • Be a strong resource for other offices, and the public as needed

Qualifications:

My experience with the current administration has given me hands-on experience, and the opportunity to implement new financial software which will make the process even smoother. It is because of my current position and experiences, that I am confident I could make a seamless transition into the County Auditor position.

Candidate Statement:

“I live in Bozeman with my three-year-old daughter and amazing seven-year-old step-son. We love this community and strive to be active and contributing members of this exciting and growing landscape.

“Currently I am working in the County Auditor’s Office, learning the foundational elements of this position. Seeing the coordination of the county offices has given me the insight to what it takes to run an effective and cohesive local government. As elected officials, it is the duty of these officers to uphold fiscal integrity while maintaining accountability and transparency.”

Eric Semerad for Clerk and Recorder

Eric Semerad

County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation: Recording Department Supervisor – 15 years (28 years with the Clerk and Recorders office)

Goals

  • Continue to improve and modernize county public records storage and access in the office and online.
  • Diligently administer the election process and ensure the right to vote for all eligible citizens.
  • Oversee recording of County Commission actions.
  • Manage vital (birth & death) record issuance.

Qualifications

  • Recording Department Supervisor – 15 years
  • Chief Deputy Clerk – 10 years
  • Bachelor of Science from Montana State University
  • Modernized Clerk & Recorder records and put them online
  • Responsibly manage department budget and one of the largest revenue sources in the county

Candidate Statement

“I work with integrity and dedication to develop lasting relationships with county and private sector customers. I have the most in-depth knowledge and experience it takes to hold this office. I am the most qualified candidate for Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor.”

Scott MacFarlane, Candidate for County Commission

Scott MacFarlane

County Commissioner (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation

Belgrade Public School’s Facilities Director; Gallatin County Capital Improvement Program Advisory Board; Volunteer youth track and cross country coach with Monforton School and the Bozeman Track Club.

Goals

  • The Gallatin County Commission needs to do more to recruit and retain valuable public safety employees
  • Updating and expanding the county’s law and justice facility is a top priority. The safe, efficient and effective operation of the courts and sheriff’s office is not possible at the current facility.
  • Affordable housing to support the region’s workforce

Qualifications

  • Manage multi-million dollar school construction projects and all district facilities personnel and funding as Belgrade Public Schools Facilities Director

Candidate Statement

“Gallatin County has recently found itself on the world stage as a top destination to live, learn, invest, start up, or relocate a business. Long term residents have come to understand this growth is a permanent reality, and know it will only speed up.

“Gallatin County has a small army of dedicated people looking out for our communities and environment with five incorporated municipalities, multiple unincorporated communities, and additional leadership groups such as school boards, water boards, fire boards, lands boards, and irrigation boards.  I witness the accelerating growth in Gallatin County cause strain among the numerous management groups in our area. These organizations each have their own responsibilities to plan for our future, and all these plans risk failure without respectful collaboration, communication, and partnership.

“Serving at-large, the County Commissioners represent EVERYONE in our County. I am resolved the County Commission holds the greatest responsibility in the success of these partnerships.

“Gallatin County is made up of hard working citizens with brilliant minds.  When we work together, there is no problem too large to tackle. I will be a Commissioner who collaborates and builds partnerships. I am completely dedicated to the success of our future. Together we can ensure Gallatin County plans its future responsibly in a way that benefits everyone.”

Jennifer Blossom for County Treasurer

Jennifer Blossom

County Treasurer (Elected Nov '18); County Auditor (current)

Occupation:

County Auditor, Gallatin County

Goals:

  • Improve the efficiency, transparency and accuracy of process within the Treasurer’s Office – including the investment of tax dollars.

Qualifications:

  • 15 years auditing the Gallatin County Treasurer’s Office

Candidate Statement:

“If you pay property taxes in Gallatin County, or have ever had to register your vehicle or renew your registration, you’ve been directly affected by the Treasurer’s Office, which is responsible for the timely and accurate billing and handling of tax dollars, the efficient distribution of collected taxes to the various schools and agencies, the transparent investment of money and the management of the motor vehicle department.

“Every day for more than 13 years I have watched as people have waited to register their vehicles – a wait that can last up to four hours or more.  Some of these people are losing wages. Some of them have families they want to get home to. Some of them have places they need to be. Not one of them should be required to sit in a lobby and wait for such an unreasonable amount of time.  I believe it’s time that the Treasurer’s Office recognizes, respects and honors that.

“An elected official shouldn’t have to be pushed to make positive changes. They need to be willing to take a step back, listen to those around them and make improvements where necessary. That was the reason I ran for Auditor in 2003 and why I am running for Treasurer now.”

More information:
http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/county/county-auditor-to-challenge-county-treasurer/article_b16019ba-06e3-11e8-898f-d34a49bc2a06.html

Jim Hamilton

House District 61 (Re-elected Nov '18)

Jim is the current representative for House District 61.

Tom Woods

Tom Woods

House District 62 (Re-elected Nov '18)

Occupation

Currently serving as the representative for House District 62

Goals

  • Protecting Students from Debt
    When he was a teacher at MSU, Tom saw first hand how many students graduate tens of thousands of dollars in debt. As a member of the Education Joint Finance Committee, Tom fought hard to keep tuition low. He will continue to do that as well as fund K-12 education.

    Tom will always fight for Montana’s students and teachers. He worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass a landmark bill endorsed by MEA-MFT to fix teacher pensions while warding off attempts by conservatives to gut these essential retirement plans. Over the past school year, he has worked with special needs kids in our schools and will fight for the programs these families rely on.

  • Ending Corporate Influence in Government
    Corporations have a right to make a profit, but they shouldn’t have the right to make laws. Tom will continue to successfully fight dark money in Montana politics. He will also continue to fight the corporate lobbyists in Helena!

  • Fix Healthcare Now
    Tens of thousands of Montanans still lack insurance, and millions of Americans struggle to pay their rising premiums. Meanwhile, one-in-four Montanans rely on Medicaid to provide their healthcare. Tom will vigorously resist attempts by Republicans to undermine this vital program.

    During the last session, Tom wrote and sponsored innovative legislation to impose price controls on hospitals. He also brought bills that exposed the exorbitant salaries some hospitals pay their administrators. Tom is on OUR side.
  • Investing in Indian Country
    Native families in Indian Country face a number of challenges, including sub-standard housing conditions, high unemployment, and a chronically underfunded Indian Health Service. We must do better. Tom has vigorously fought for Indian cultural preservation programs and will lead the fight to ensure these communities receive their fair share of state dollars.

Qualifications

  • Educator, Current representative for House District 62

Candidate Statement

As a State Representative, Tom has always stood up for progressive causes in the face of fierce resistance by powerful special interests. When Northwestern Energy tried to hike prices on consumers, Tom introduced legislation to stop them—and won, dealing the utility a rare defeat in the legislature. He took on the hospitals and challenged soaring medical costs that send Montana families into bankruptcy every year. In past sessions he helped lead the fight for Medicaid expansion, which gave 80,000 Montanans access to affordable healthcare. Tom will resist any attempt to cut the Medicaid program he worked so hard to expand!

Tom got into public service because he understands how working families in Montana struggle to make ends meet. In the past, he’s been a bartender, a musician, and a bellhop. Now he’s a teacher, a husband, and a father to two kids. He will always fight for Montana families, no matter what.

Zach Brown

Zach Brown

House District 63 (Re-elected Nov '18)

Occupation

  • Program Manager for One Montana (onemontana.org)
  • Representative, Montana House District 63.

Goals:

  • Education:
    Advocate for investing in public education. supporting higher pay for teachers and professors, expanded early childhood education, and increased investment in our higher education system.
  • Energy Efficiency:
    Make public facilities more energy efficient to save the public money and resources. Advocates energy conservation as smart investments that improve our public buildings and can reap returns – for taxpayers, fiscal conservatives, and conservationists alike.
  • Health Care/Insure Montana: Supports efforts to revise and continue the “Insure Montana” program, which provides incentives for small businesses to continue to offer health insurance to their employees.
  • Health Care/Medicaid Expansion: Promote equal access to health care and preventative services for everyone including low income families. Expand Medicaid in Montana to provide health insurance to folks living far below the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet.
  • Health Care/Military Discount: Supports proposed legislation that would allow property and casualty insurance companies to offer consumers discounts based on military or veteran status, similar to “good driver” discounts.
  • Public Access and Outdoor Recreation:
    Advocate for every Montanan’s constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment,” and I will fight for sportsmen and women’s ability to access public lands.
    Opposed to the Republican-led proposal to transfer federal public to state ownership. “Our state and federal agencies have a cooperative management relationship that spans decades or hard work and collaboration. This underhanded proposal is not about “better management” as transfer proponents will have you believe; it’s about opening up our public lands to extensive leasing to resource extraction corporations from out-of-state. I will not stand for it.”
  • Small Business
    Promote a clean, fair, and competitive tax code in support of small businesses and the jobs they create.
  • Women’s Rights
    “EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK”
    Supports wage equality in support of Governor Bullock’s “Equal Pay for Equal Work” task force initiative.

    SUPPORTING WOMEN’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND HEALTH CARE
    Advocate for women’s health, and access to family planning services crucial to the health of women and their families. Protection for a woman’s right to privacy and health care. Believe that women’s health care decisions should not be legislated.

Qualifications

Personal:

Truman Albright Fellow., Washington, DC. Research, trade policy for the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. immigration policy for the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, Associate for MT Senator Max Baucus.

Legislative:

Montana legislative committee assignments: Taxation, Natural Resources, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the Water Policy Interim Committee. Appointed me to the Private Lands Public Wildlife Council, 2016, 2018. Vice-Chair of the Water Policy Interim Committee, Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Co-Chair of the MT Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus.

Candidate Statement

“Montana will always be my home – I love this place deeply and believe in the future of our community and state.

“I would be honored to have your support as I seek my third term serving Montana’s House District 63. As one of Montana’s youngest legislators, I strive to be an effective policy maker who works within my own team and across the aisle to push my district’s issues forward and achieve results. I work hard every day to serve ALL of my constituents with integrity and treat all of my colleagues in the legislature with respect.

“I believe that the results speak for themselves: in two terms, I have been able to pass 11 separate bills into law. These reforms have dealt with issues ranging from insurance company regulation, to watershed protection, criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, and beyond. And in a few cases, I am equally proud of my legislation proposals that have failed, such as those dealing with opioid prescription abuse and student debt reforms.

“On this foundation, I am ready to continue my service to the people in my district and across Montana.”

Chris Pope, candidate for House District 65

Chris Pope

House District 65 (Elected Nov '18)

Occupation

Licensed commercial real estate, Certified Commercial Investment Member [CCIM]

Goals

  • Economy & Small Business
    Advocates State’s responsibility to develop a future workforce, assisting with new market development, and helping create conditions for entrepreneurial activity in the state. Supports increasing Montana’s share of new and emerging markets, and State government’s role in helping businesses transition to best practices of sustainability, technology transfer and industry collaboration.
  • Pulblic Lands & Environment
    Advocate for access to public lands, clean air and water, a serious pragmatic approach to addressing climate change, and leadership in energy conservation and renewable energy development

Qualifications

  • Chair, Bozeman Parking Commission
  • Presented Bozeman “Life is Downtown” achievement award
  • Board Member, Eagle Mount, the Yellowstone Business Partnership
  • Board Treasurer for the Montana Conservation Corps

Candidate Statement

Chris Pope is a Bozeman business and community leader who is running as a Democrat for State House District 65 to improve the quality of life for working Montanans and their families.

Chris is an advocate for a strong, transparent and efficient state government, and is committed to finding practical solutions to critical issues facing residents and taxpayers working across the aisle to break down the political polarity that has recently undermined the effectiveness of state leadership.

Chris believes that Montana is well-positioned to grow its agricultural, tourism and high-tech industries, with an objective of creating high-quality, well-paying jobs and expanding markets for value-added Montana goods and services. An essential component of Montana’s future economic success is the continued stewardship of Montana’s environment and wildlife, as is a robust public education system and affordable health care.

Chris enters his third run for public office with extensive private sector experience, not to mention volunteer service in the non-profit and public sectors.

During the 64th Legislature, Chris was an advocate for clean energy, investment in critical state infrastructure, and expanded opportunity for students with disabilities. He served on the Business and Labor, Local Government, and Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications committees.

Chris and his wife, Maddy, relocated to Bozeman in 1991 from Washington, DC, where Chris worked in the high-tech energy sector as a marketing manager for Amoco Corporation’s solar electric energy subsidiary. Upon arriving in Bozeman, Chris and Maddy started The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company, an educational toy store located on Main Street in Bozeman’s historic business district. The Popes sold the business in 2005, after growing the business to four store locations.

Chris additionally holds a Certified Commercial Investment Member [CCIM] designation as a licensed commercial real estate agent with NAI Landmark in Bozeman, where he has worked for 10 years.

Chris is active in service to the Bozeman community, having served on various City advisory groups during the 15-year renovation of the Historic Downtown Business District. He chaired the Bozeman Parking Commission for 12 years, during which time the City successfully built a $12 million parking facility downtown. He was presented with the city’s Life is Downtown achievement award in 2011.

Chris has served on the boards of Eagle Mount, the Yellowstone Business Partnership, and is currently Board Treasurer for the Montana Conservation Corps. He is a 17-year member of the Bozeman Noon Rotary.

Chris has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR [1975], and a Masters in Public and Private Management from the School of Management, Yale University, New Haven, CT [1988].

Chris is 65 years old, and lives with his wife, Maddy, in Bozeman. They have two adult-age children, Jessie and Ben.

Denise Hayman

Denise Hayman

House District 66 (Re-elected Nov '18)

Denise currently serves as the representative for House District 66.

Mike Phillips

Senate District 31

Mike currently serves as the senator for Senate District 31.

Pat Flowers, candidate for Senate District 32

Patrick Flowers

Senate District 32 (Elected Nov '18)

Who is Pat Flowers?

I moved to Montana from my Ohio birthplace in 1977 as a college junior to finish my undergraduate degree in forestry, and complete a master’s degree in forest economics at the University of Montana. I went on to a career in forest fire research, forest economics, forest management, and fish, wildlife and parks.  I raised two daughters in Montana with my wife, Hedvig, who passed away in 2007.   In 2014 I remarried.  My wife, Melissa, and I now share four daughters who are either pursuing their college degrees or professional careers.

Why is Pat running?

I am running for Senate District 32 to strengthen the reasons why you choose to live, work and recreate in Montana — including a robust public education system, access to affordable health care, and exceptional open access to our rivers and public lands. I bring a lifetime of public-service experience working to address Montana’s toughest natural resource issues. With your support, we will translate that problem-solving success into home-grown progress in many other areas.

Pat’s Values

Pat has demonstrated integrity throughout his public service career. He has taken on some of the toughest issues in Montana and through it all maintained a commitment to the sound management of our resources and the well-being of our citizens.

Pat has shown great perseverance on issues like elk management where he pushed for solutions that recognized the concerns of private landowners, while focusing on the goal of managing elk as valued Montana wildlife of great importance to sportsmen and women.

As a public servant Pat has embraced transparency in government, hosting hundreds of public meetings and forums on difficult issues. He understands the value and need for state government to find solutions in an open setting where Montana citizens can participate.

Pat recognized throughout his professional career that the toughest problems are best solved with all interests at the table. The shared solutions that come out of those efforts are not only better crafted, but they also result in outcomes that are more broadly supported, and better stand the test of time.

Learn more about Pat and his positions on key issues

JP Pomnichowski

JP Pomnichowski

Senate District 33 (Re-elected Nov '18)

JP Pomnichowski is a Montana State Senator and serves in leadership as the Democratic Minority Whip, the only woman in Senate Democratic leadership. She’s currently completing her first term in the state senate after serving three terms in Montana’s House of Representatives. Prior to her state government work, JP served in neighborhood associations, city and county boards, and in MSU’s student senate.

She’s championed citizens’ rights, protecting public lands, our natural setting and Montana’s sporting heritage, and promoting a quality education. Her knowledge and experience make her a natural to continue her service in the Montana State Legislature.

First elected as our Lady of the House (of Representatives), now, A Woman’s Place is in the House (and the SENATE!)


JP currently serves as the senator for Senate District 33.

Learn more about JP and her positions on key issues