The Next Election: Dem. Candidate for Gov. Stumps in Glasgow
June 19, 2019
Casey Schreiner, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Montana's governorship, stumped at the Loaded Toad in Glasgow on June 14. The candidate marks the first visit from a gubernatorial candidate for the state, but the second visit from a politician running for office in 2020. The first one was Dem. Kathleen Williams, who is seeking the nomination for U.S. Representative for the state, visiting Glasgow on April 8.
Schreiner met with just over a dozen residents from Glasgow, and discussed his background, experience, priorities, his plan for winning the election and his goals for the office. He kicked off his meet and greet by noting that Glasgow was his first stop along the campaign trail and that he planned to hit other eastern Montana communities during his trip.
"I don't think we spend enough time in this neck of the woods," noted the candidate before launching into his background.
Schreiner told the crowd that he was originally from Montana, becoming a school teacher in Great Falls. He worked as a science teacher, but after the district failed to pass a mill levy his position was cut and he, and his pregnant wife, were left without a job. He cited the ordeal as a motivation for him to get into politics and eventually run for the legislature. In the 2019 session he served as House Minority Leader.
"I played by the rules, worked hard and at the end of the day it didn't protect us," stated Schreiner about his family's ordeal. He went on to explain his view that it is important to have a Governor who has lived like the majority of Montanans who have a blue-collar background.
He used the example of his father to drive home his point. He described how his dad worked as an orderly in a hospital while driving from Great Falls to Havre to attend college full-time to get a nursing degree, then returning each weekend to work back-to-back 16 hour shifts as an orderly to pay the bills.
"Families should not have to work that hard to be successful," asserted the candidate.
He listed his major priorities – aside from economic security – as education and health care, which he views as necessary to fix before other issues can be tackled at the state level.
He advocated for investing in education and especially in early-childhood education citing the example of his own son who was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum and received resources through a quality preschool program in Great Falls. The result, according to Schreiner, is that his son will enter kindergarten requiring no special education assistance.
Keeping with education, the candidate also supported education programs that would allow students to prepare more for the workforce out of high school.
"We need to better prepare kids for the workforce," said Schreiner, "So they can better serve business, make more and stay in their communities."
He also advocated for health care reform, Medicaid and Medicare funding and prescription drug pricing reforms. He specifically stated a need for price transparency and drug-price negotiations for all groups of insurance. Schreiner pointed out that many Montanan families are only a single crisis away from medical debt and in turn bankruptcy. As a result, he supports efforts to improve the health care system.
Also discussed was clean energy, economic development and innovation in clean energy. Schreiner pointed out that his blue-collar background made it hard for him to hear about the closures of coal plants in Colstrip, but that he hopes future investments can add jobs, innovation and security to communities.
"I will say that as a lifetime union member," state Schreiner. "I am sad to see [powerplants] 1 and 2 close down. Not because of coal energy, but because of the families who lost jobs and we will need to figure out what they will do."
He pushed back on concerns that he had no name recognition in the state by pointing out that he had entered the race first and was hitting the road to talk to Montanans.
"No one is going to go out and meet more people than I," asserted Schreiner. "No one is going to drive more miles than me."
Before he ended his speech, Schreiner stated his most basic principle for his campaign, "People should be happy, healthy, educated and able to have opportunities in this state."