Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand. – Colin Powell
It was a great day on Saturday as The Western Word travel budget allowed me the opportunity to attend the candidate debate between Democrats U.S. Sen. John Walsh, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams. The debate was held at the Benefis Hospital’s Cameron Auditorium, which is about four blocks from The Western Word world headquarters.
I counted around 100 people in the auditorium. The debate lasted a little over 90 minutes. Somebody brought cookies, which was a nice touch. People were friendly. The debate was sponsored by the Great Falls Tribune and Benefis Health System.
There were 10 questions asked (one of them was mine) dealing with issues from Obamacare to defense to the environment to gun control to politics. Ironically, nobody asked what the word “Benefis” means. Each candidate was able to give opening and closing remarks.
Congratulations to the Great Falls (MT) Tribune for hosting a candidate debate between the Democrats running for U.S. Senate. Senator John Walsh, former Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams have agreed to participate. I applaud them for taking part in the debate.
The debate is scheduled for Saturday May 3 at the Benefis East Campus Cameron Auditorium. It starts at 1:00 p.m.
On the other side of the aisle, it’s disappointing that two of the three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate either did not respond to the invitation or declined. Missoula state Rep. Champ Edmunds agreed to participate. The Tribune reported that Congressman Steve Daines “declined to participate” and newcomer Susan Cundiff “did not respond” to an invitation.
It was good to see that the Tribune allowed Edmunds a chance to respond to Daines’ declining to debate him. Edmunds said:
It was fun to monitor the Montana Secretary of State’s website off and on yesterday to see who was running for office. Big thanks to all who are running for office and best of luck on June 3.
The primary field is basically set, although candidates filing for Independent or Minor Party candidates closes June 2. That’s after the candidate has obtained enough signatures on a petition to run for that office, which is absurd and should be changed. You can also run as a write-in candidate, but there are several hoops to jump through for that, too. You can find information for both methods HERE.
There were a few surprises. You can check out the candidate lists HERE. Here are my thoughts and observations (so far):