Two More Democrats Announce Run for Congress

By Beacon Staff

Two more Democrats entered the race last week for their party’s nomination to succeed Republican Denny Rehberg in Montana’s at-large Congressional seat in 2012.

“I think that I can be a strong contender and end up being the voice for Montana in the House of Representatives,” Billings state Sen. Kim Gillan said on a conference call with reporters announcing her candidacy. Gillan, a workforce development coordinator at MSU Billings, touts the problem-solving skills she developed in the Legislature, where she has served since 1997.

Missoula City Councilman Dave Strohmaier also threw his hat into the ring.

“My decision to run is about working Montanans, not the wealthy, and it’s about our children and the future,” Strohmaier, a historian for a consulting firm, wrote in an e-mail to supporters posted on his campaign website.

The announcements bring the number of candidates in the race to five. Among Democrats, Gillan and Strohmaier join Rep. Franke Wilmer of Bozeman in what will be, at this point, a three-way primary. Among Republicans, Bozeman businessman Steve Daines is running, along with John Abarr of Great Falls, a hotel night auditor who once organized for the Ku Klux Klan.