I was planning to write a longer post endorsing Kim Abbott in the House District 83 Democratic primary, but MT Cowgirl already made the argument as well as I could. It comes down to experience, not only working at the Legislature, but on behalf of people and causes that are important to people in our community and across the state.
When I thought about which candidate to support in the HD 83 race the simplest measure I used to decide was the certain knowledge that, win or lose, Abbott will be at the Legislature fighting for people who simply don’t have their voices heard loud enough or often enough in legislative hearings and on the floor. We know her record, her unmatched work ethic, and even her ability to try to work with some of the most odious members of the Republican caucus to help them see how damaging their votes and statements can be.
Let’s take the work Kim has done speaking before committees over the past few sessions and turn that into votes for economic justice and the rights of groups and individuals who still face marginalization at the hands of government and before their citizen legislature. We can be sure that she will be a champion for quality public education and civil liberties, and perhaps even more importantly that she will force the Legislature to hear the voices of those silenced by poverty or discrimination. A lot of people give lip service to those causes; Kim is committed to them—and has lived her public life in service to those values.
There’s an unfortunate tendency for mainstream Democratic-leaning groups to endorse candidates they perceive to be more centrist in contested primaries, and Kim’s opponent is boasting the endorsement of the MEA-MFT in this race. This teacher and others, though, know that she has a demonstrated record of fighting the privatization agenda driven by the far right in this state and that she has worked to protect both the economic rights of workers and the civil rights of students.
I have no doubt that Kim’s opponent in this race has the right values for this district and our community, but only Kim has the values and the record of fighting for the rights of all Montanans. She deserves your vote.