States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Montana 2020


Flip House

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

20 Democrats

30 Republicans

State House

42 Democrats

58 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

Montana politics have a decidedly independent streak. The legislature has been controlled by Republicans for nearly three decades and Donald Trump is popular, but there’s a Democratic governor and U.S. senator. The political landscape creates a narrow but possible path to flipping the House in 2020, expanding the map even deeper into the once impossible mountain west.

The Stakes

Instead of working to improve lives, Republican leadership has fought for pro-corporate interests. The current majority has:

  • Pushed a sweetheart deal with a major energy company that would undermine the state’s independent regulator—and pass the cost onto Montanans’ electricity bills.
  • Blocked efforts to expand treatment options for people facing opioid addiction.
  • Shut down proposals to expand rural broadband.
  • Consistently obstructed an overwhelmingly popular proposal in Montana: universal preschool.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire House is up for election.  Democrats need to win nine of the 58 Republican-held seats in the House to break the majority. (Only half the Senate is up).
  • Montana is seeing an influx of young professionals from out of state congregating in its metropolitan areas—where people are voting more Democratic in statewide elections but are often still represented by Republicans.
  • In 2018, Jon Tester won a majority of State House districts, all of which are located in areas that could be part of an enduring Democratic coalition (i.e. metro areas or locations with significant Native populations).

Meet the candidates

  • Guthrie Quist

    Guthrie is a small business owner running to protect public lands and invest in education for all Montanans.

  • Debo Powers
    Debo Powers

    After her three decade career in public education and service in community organizations, Debo took her leadership to the State House where she is proud to serve all Montanans.

  • Gerry Browning
    Gerry Browning

    A former nurse and entrepreneur, Gerry believes in the power of community. She is driven by her life philosophy of leaving things better than she found them and is committed to making a difference for every Montanan.

  • Jasmine Taylor
    Jasmine Taylor

    Jasmine dedicated her life to public service after a family member’s cancer diagnosis forced her family into poverty when she was young. Now, she is running for the State House to fight for all Montanans, not just the wealthy few.

  • Barbara Bessette
    Barbara Bessette

    Barbara credits her strong work ethic to growing up around rodeo and her experience barrel racing. She is a substance abuse prevention specialist who took this expertise and a vision for a more fair Montana to Helena in 2018.

  • Helena Lovick
    Helena Lovick

    Through education and hardwork Helena was able to break her family’s cycle of poverty. Now, Helena is a scientific researcher who is running because she understands the impact that legislation can have on Montana’s families.

  • Margie MacDonald

    In the Senate, Margie has fought for the most vulnerable Montanans and is running to continue working to improve the lives of those in her community.

  • Krystal Steinmetz
    Krystal Steinmetz

    Krystal is a civic activist and former journalist who currently works with the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. She is running to protect access to public lands and to support the economy through investing in public education and infrastructure.

  • Jade Bahr
    Jade Bahr

    A Montana native, Jade was working as a receptionist at a foster-care network for Native American youth when she saw the deep need for public services. In the State House, she fights for social justice and is an advocate for all Montanans.

  • Anne Giuliano
    Anne Giuliano

    Anne is a radiologist and healthcare expert. She is ready to take this expertise to the state capitol to fight for quality and affordable healthcare for all Montanans.

  • Hannah Olson
    Hannah Olson

    Born to parents who worked many jobs, the value of hardwork was instilled in Hannah at a young age. She is currently an instructor at MSUB and a leader in many community organizations. She is running to bring her community’s experience to the State House.

  • Brian Popiel
    Brian Popiel

    Brian is a small business owner who combined his work experiences in education and construction to launch a non-profit that teaches construction skills to highschoolers. He is running to bring his advocacy for students and affordable housing to Helena.

  • Colette Campbell
    Colette Campbell

    Colette comes from a line of hardworking loggers. Informed largely by her work as an early childhood educator of children of poverty level families, she is running to advocate for all students who deserve quality, public education.

  • Tom Browder
    Tom Browder

    Tom is a US Army veteran, a small business owner, and most recently worked in education technology. He is running to ensure his state invests in local economies, public schools, and healthcare.

  • Lisa Pavlock
    Lisa Pavlock

    The daughter of a nurse and a veteran of the Navy, the value of public service and contributing to her community was instilled in Lisa early. Her commitment to community drove her to work as an educator, open a new school, and now, run for State House.

  • Loni Conley
    Loni Conley

    In her sixteen years as a nurse, Loni has seen firsthand how legislation from Helena impacts patients’ care. She is running to ensure all Montanans have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

  • Lou Ann Hansen
    Lou Ann Hansen

    A 4th generation Montanan, and a product of public schools, LouAnn was an educator for 35 years. She is running to take her expertise and advocacy for public education to the State House.

  • Chase Gay

    Chase Gay is a current law student running to improve lives for all Montanans, particularly those in the rural communities across the state.