A U.S. congressional candidate with Glasgow ties visited town Monday, Aug. 18. He explained that his mother was from Glasgow and his father from Glendive. He grew up in Whitefish and could remember, clearly, a football game for the championship against Glasgow that is still talked about by those who remember.
This candidate, Ryan Zinke, held a campaign rally at Glasgow's Sunnyside Golf Course to generate support for the November election. A good crowd showed up to listen to Zinke's values and issues he hopes to focus on. He also stopped at The Glasgow Courier to discuss issues affecting folks in Eastern Montana.
Zinke has a background in the military. He was part of the Navy SEALs from 1985 until 2008. It was long after that when he jumped into politics and served in the Montana Senate in 2009 and 2011. This year he'll try to take another leap and has been campaigning for Congress. When asked why he went from the military to politics he replied, “I think we can do better.”
He has a background in the oil industry, particularly in the technology aspect. Zinke graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in geology. That foundation has given him a good understanding of the oil field and how the new technology created in the last few years has created the expansion of collecting domestic energy. This is something he said is extremely important, not only for economic reasons but also to keep soldiers from deployment overseas to protect foreign resources. He also explained that issues in Montana concerning water and the over-expansion of bureaucracies, lsuch as the Environmental Protection Agency have created tough situations for small communities.
He furthered his education with master's degrees in business finance and global leadership. With a background like that, it's not a surprise that his other focuses are on economics and bringing in future opportunities. He said that government needs to be limited in business.
When asked about his party, he said that he's running as a Republican but is a Montanan first. He said he prefers to focus on the issues and not the party.
“We need to make sure we're serving and solving the issues,” Zinke said.
He mentioned that wise use of resources, building infrastructure back up in Montana and huge improvements to communications were needed in Montana. Issues with cell service and internet connection in rural communities are connected to both safety concerns and educational purposes. He said focusing on updating roads, bridges, sewer and water treatment plants is needed.
Zinke is running against Democrat John Lewis and Libertarian Mike Fellows. He's been traveling around the state campaigning and had just come from the Sidney and Plentywood areas when he stopped in Glasgow.