Montana’s Great Homegrown Hope for Restoring Rural Values

Rural politics requires a never-ending search for the authentic, what-you-see-is-what-you-get candidate. Rural America isn’t about whom you know in Washington, Wall Street or Hollywood; it’s about electing one of our own that we can trust to keep his promises and look out for us, not the special interests.

Meet Rob Quist, the singing cowboy of Montana, who has his opponents sweating out the May 25th special election for the House of Representatives – and has left his own party’s bicoastal elites wondering if maybe they were a bit hasty in kissing off this gun-toting, hard-working, affordable-quality-health-care-for-all populist.

Quist comes from a small town you might think you read about in a Mark Twain tale called Cut Bank, Montana, and even the name of his bluegrass and country rock bands, the Mission Mountain Wood Band and Great Northern, sound as genuine as the summer sky. Quist picks at his guitar, playing folksy tunes he’s penned that sound an awful lot like campaign slogans, song like “Living Wild and Free,” and “Honor Bound.” He trumpets the entrepreneurial spirit and values small businesses, while condemning unnecessary red tape that gets in the way of job creation. Quist loves the land and promises to protect the air Montanans breath and the water they drink.

Thanks to his non-stop campaigning in a Winnebago he calls his rolling campaign headquarters, along with a mountain of small-ticket contributions to his campaign, Quist has made the fight for the statewide at-large House seat in Big Sky Country a real brawl. At least one poll has the contest down to single digits, and Quist is even outraising his opponent in campaign contributions.

Not surprisingly, Quist has his carpetbagger, multi-millionaire transplant from New Jersey linked to unsavory Russian companies calling in all his Washington cronies, including those named Trump, because Quist is building a dangerous base in the eyes of his opponents: rural voters. It’s a bloc that Quist’s party has watched steadily move away. Polls show that Quist’s national party only picked up 34% of the rural vote in 2016. With the support of other economic populists, like Bernie Sanders, Quist is looking to begin to reverse that trend, beginning in Montana.

And an upset victory not out of the question, either. This is a state that has elected some interesting and authentic Montanans, like Sen. John Tester, ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer and current Gov. Steve Bullock, the latter who slashed at Trump coattails last fall and defeated that same carpetbagger, multi-millionaire transplant from New Jersey who now faces Quist. It’s a populist bunch that calls Quist their friend, mainly for one reason: he is the genuine, real deal rural candidate who woos cattlemen and college students; factory workers and farmers, Native Americans and nurses; bikers and biologists; and every other kind of authentic Montanan you can imagine.

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