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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

MT-Sen: Jon Tester to Beat Burns

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob - Tester is the first SSP candidate in 2006.

UPDATE: (Bob) - Get to know the best Democratic Senate candidate in 2006, check out the video (click on video link). Also, pics of Tester here.

UPDATE: (Bob) - Kos calls Tester, The next senator from the great state of Montana.

First of all, let's review why you need to pay attention to Senator Conrad Burns re-election in Montana:

In 2000, Burns barely won (against an unknown opponent)

Burns re-elect number is 36%

Burns is having trouble raising money

Burns is a key figure in multiple corruption investigations

Burns lies to Montanans

Over the weekend, I posted on Jon Tester. His campaign is now official, according to the Havre Daily News:

Senate President Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy, began his first official day of campaigning for the U.S. Senate close to home today.

He planned to greet a few of his local supporters in Big Sandy before heading to Havre in a tractor-trailer decorated with lettering advertising his bid for the seat now held by Republican Conrad Burns.

Jon Tester is the real deal and as the best Democrat pick-up opportunity, this is a race Swing State Project will follow closely.

Tester needed to talk about it with his family first, he said. One consideration was the operation of his family farm, which his grandfather homesteaded. "It's not like it's a disposable piece of property," he said.

The other was the move to Washington, D.C. Tester said his family was in full support of the decision to run.

"You've got common sense and leadership abilities," he said he was told by constituents, who have also urged him to run.

Tester isn't a politician, he's a leader. I think that is why the people in Montana I've talked to are so excited by his effort. This won't be another typical campaign between two politicians, this will be a man of the people bringing people together to ensure that the people have a voice in D.C.

Tester is finishing his fourth term in the state Senate, his last due to term limits. In the Legislature he has focused on health care, education and jobs.

"The experience I got in the Montana Legislature, particularly as the leader of the Senate, has prepared me to represent the people of Montana well in Washington, D.C.," he said today.

Tester said he thinks one of his biggest assets as a candidate besides his experience in legislative leadership is his background.

"I think I can take that small business perspective and do some good things for the state of Montana," he said.

On national issues:

Among national issues, Social Security and Medicare are Tester's biggest concerns.

"I think the issue of privatization of (Social Security) and the risk of losing that program is not healthy," he said.

As for Montana's relationship with the federal government, "The federal government plays a huge role in the state's budget, particularly in the Medicaid account," he said. "It helps our elderly and disabled. That's a critical component from the D.C. level."

Not only can he win, but I fully expect him to:

Tester said he thinks he can defeat Burns in an election. "It's going to be very difficult," he said. "It's going to take a lot of work. He's an incumbent and he's been in there a lot of years."

But Tester said his background gives him an advantage: "The fact that I've lived in this environment my entire life and made a living here and understand the challenges that Montanans have. [...]

"He's got a quicker start but this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon," Tester said. "It's a lot of work. He who gets out there and hustles usually wins these things."

Two weeks ago, Tester traveled to Washington, D.C., to test the waters among party leadership. "We were treated very well," he said. "Everybody was very supportive of me running. They thought I had the right profile to win."

Damn straight.

Contribution amount: $

UPDATE: (Bob) Here's Tester's travel schedule for Wednesday:

Big Sandy Farmer Drives Tractor-Trailer Rig Across State to Listen to Montanans

Montana Senate President Jon Tester, a third-generation family farmer from Big Sandy, is announcing his candidacy for the United States Senate Wednesday in Bozeman, Butte and Missoula.

Driving his tractor-trailer rig, Tester started his statewide tour from his Big Sandy home and farm on Tuesday.

Today, Wednesday, May 25, Tester will be in his truck in Bozeman, Butte and Missoula at these times and locations:

Bozeman 9:30 a.m. Conoco gas station, off North Seventh Avenue and Baxter Lane near I-90

Butte 12 noon Red Lion Hotel, 2100 Cornell (Agri-Business Days)

Missoula 3:30 p.m. College of Technology, East Campus, 909 South Avenue West

“I’ll roll up my sleeves and work hard for Montana’s working families, just like my parents and grandparents taught me,” Tester said. “Montanans want leaders who work together and use common sense. And Montana families are stronger when they have good-paying jobs, quality public schools, and more affordable, accessible health care.”

Tester said that as a farmer and businessman from small-town Montana he understands the importance of working together -- neighbor to neighbor -- to get the job done.

“I’m working for the working people of Montana, for Main Street Montana, for those families who work hard and want their kids and grandkids to live, work and raise their families here,” Tester said. “My track record as a citizen-legislator demonstrates my deep commitment to moving Montana forward.”

“Jon Tester’s the real deal, and he gets the job done for Montana,” said state Representative Monica Lindeen of Huntley. “Montanans have a great opportunity to send a family farmer and proven leader to the U.S. Senate.”

Tester will drive his truck around the state this week to listen to Montanans. Tester is stopping in Havre, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Missoula, Great Falls and Montana towns in between.

Contribution amount: $

Posted at 08:19 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana | Technorati