by Troy Carter, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
On the same day a Manhattan farmer entered the race for House District 69, incumbent Rep. Matthew Monforton said he will not seek re-election.
Walt Sales, a Republican, announced his campaign for the state House of Representatives’ HD 69 on Thursday. Monforton, also a Republican, was elected to the seat in 2014.
“The Montana Republican Party will always be a charade until we stop Democrat activists from infiltrating our primaries and electing phony ‘Republicans’ like Ryan Zinke and Walt Sales,” Monforton told the Chronicle. “I will therefore not seek re-election to House District 69 and instead focus on our pending suit challenging Montana’s antiquated and corrupt primary system.”
HD 69 represents Three Forks, Manhattan and the rural northern section of the county.
Sales comes from a ranching family in the Manhattan-Churchill area. He has run the family ranch since 1981, he said, and is a past president of the Association of Agricultural Irrigators.
This is Sales’ first run at public office, but he has been active in legislative sessions since 2005.
“I truly feel that we need to send a voice to Helena that appreciates and understands this district, one that will work for the local issues while helping put state government into a forward direction,” Sales said in a prepared statement. “I will work to do just that.”
During the 2015 legislative session, Sales organized local and statewide support for the ratification of the state water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.
Monforton voted no on the ratification bill. [Read more…]