Political Note #152 Kathleen Williams MT CD AL

Kathleen Williams had been a popular and effective state legislator. She was not the favorite for the Democratic nomination for Congress. She entered late. She raised a fraction of the money her opponents raised -- money needed for the primary and for the general election against a millionaire incumbent. She preempted accusations that she was interested only in water issues by announcing a campaign focus on healthcare and tax reform. She stood out. Williams could not be criticized for being insufficiently western. Associate Director of the Western Land Owners Alliance, she had a job title that evoked a 1950s movie. She is a sport shooter. She hunts and fishes. She hikes and canoes.

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Political Note #40 Jon Tester MT US Senate

Weighing in at 300 pounds or so, measuring well above six feet tall, it is pretty hard to imagine Jon Tester being bullied by Donald Trump shaking his hand (even if Trump tried to shake Jon Tester's left hand which has only two fingers). Grandson of a homesteader, Jon Tester took over the family farm in 1978. Even while farming he taught music in an elementary school and at Big Sandy High School to supplement his farm income. became a thoroughly successful politician. He moved quickly into leadership positions in the state Senate. He was minority leader and was even, briefly, the Senate President. Term limited, he changed districts and then, twenty years after taking over the family farm, ran for the US Senate. He beat the favored Democrat in a primary and beat the Republican incumbent who had been weakened by his own primary and by the Jack Abramoff scandal. In the Senate, Jon Tester,has been an advocate for transparency and ethics reform.

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