If Gianforte no longer seems to represent who Montanans are, Williams needs to introduce herself as someone who does represent who they are, regardless of party. And defining herself — her platform, but also familiarizing people with her name — is a challenge in a campaign against an incumbent running his third statewide race. Back in , Gianforte ran for governor against Democrat Steve Bullock, losing by just under four points, even as Trump took When Gianforte ran against Rob Quist for the congressional seat in the special election, it was essentially a consolation prize.
But Quist made a lot of inroads: Juneau lost by nearly 16 points; Quist by less than 6. These are the inroads Williams is trying to capitalize on. Places, in other words, that are open to a cross-ticket vote, for the right person. Williams, who vice-chaired the state agriculture committee and has worked closely with ag providers throughout the state, believes she might be that person. Some of these relationships were built 20 years ago.
After absentee ballots went out on Oct. The biggest town on that list: just over 6, people. How does she connect? First, by acknowledging anxiety about the end of their way of life. But Williams also wants to do more than simply create an emotional response in struggling towns. Like other Republican candidates, Gianforte has shied from publicly criticizing the president — regardless of the subject or its potential bearing on Montana.
That reticence is one of many reasons some moderate Montana conservatives, convinced that the GOP has left them behind, have found themselves increasingly willing to support Democratic candidates. Around —, though, the elements of what would become the tea party started filtering into the state and the local GOP. As the tea party began to swing the GOP away from what Coleman saw as its core, he was becoming friends with two men in his tax bracket who, he thought, shared his political views: Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte. He hunted with Gianforte, went to Bible study with Daines. And he voted for them both.
All these elections are for Democrats to lose. Livingston was originally a railroad town, which meant that it was also a union town, and a town that voted Democrat. Today, downtown Livingston manages to feel at once preserved in amber and incredibly vibrant, a mix of old-timers, young families, retirees, hippies, former church members, recreation guides, and hundreds who take the daily bus to work at the East Boulder Mine, 38 miles out of town.
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The six people gathered around the conference table represented a different sort of union between the old base working-class Democrats and the new liberal transplants. At the roundtable, the primary emotions in the room were uncertainty and fear. The same person who put together the panel, who took notes on questions and followed up afterward, who listened to various solutions proffered by panel members — forcing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, for example, or extending Medicare to age 55 — and then made the point that they were already part of her platform.
He also supported Republicans' attempts to weaken or kill the Affordable Care Act. But not in Livingston. Most political candidates root the imagery of their campaigns in family, the bigger the better, to suggest stability and relatability. But Montana is a small state, at least populationwise, and many people know her story: that her husband, fellow conservationist Tom Pick, died suddenly in January , while skiing in the backcountry near Yellowstone. Life took a turn. Danni travels with Williams, in the RV, whenever possible. At a Billings coffee shop, I asked Williams what people were responding to most on the campaign trail.
She has a ready answer: Her entire way of operating is, and always has been, the opposite. What are the good ideas I can pursue? Sometimes it gets a little wild, because people care so much. Take her approach to gun control — one of the stickiest issues for any candidate running in the state. Like so many political events on the county level, the event is a mix of Americana and hobnobbing, well-seasoned with Bud Light and large servings of meat. She was listening. Men talk; women listen. But women also get things done. Stuck in thrall to the president, regardless of his stances, or rhetoric, or tariffs.
Stuck in obedience to the NRA, or party purity tests, or big donors.
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Stuck in an ideology that demonizes compromise. For many Montanans, their identity hinges on the idea of being un -stuck: independent, cross-ticket voting, open-minded.
Montana is ideologically and politically unique. Polling in Montana, like any rural, sparsely populated state, is notoriously unreliable. Recent polls have placed Williams anywhere from seven points down to one point up — but always show that a significant number of voters are still undecided.
Williams is marketing herself as the candidate who matches and understands those deep-seated values. And she knows as well as anyone that if a voter is truly independent, no candidate can tell them what to do, or who they are, or — most crucially — how to vote. Democrat Denise Juneau is not the only woman to have attempted to run against a man in Montana since Judy Martz's election, as an earlier version of this post reported; that detail has been removed.
The location of Culbertson, Montana, was misstated in an earlier version of this post. Desssssirrreeeeeeeeeeee gurl! I will continue to follow your work as long as you continue to write these bomb ass stories Jan 25, Shana Carter rated it it was amazing. Omg The ending to this just gave me so much life. Why did it have to end omg they got Jacob Ryan so messed up. Lauryn should know who did that to her. Will Montana show up tho?
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Jun 15, Peggy Barnett rated it it was amazing. I read this book straight to the end. This book had me at times laughing my butt off. I love the way each major character got to tell his or her story. This was a very climactic ending.
I am about to start the third and final book in this series. Feb 17, Tattie rated it it was amazing. Great writer You are the truth love your style of writing. Keep up the great work and thank you for recommending other authors too. Jul 19, Meghann Duncan rated it it was amazing.
Page turner! I am literally on the edge of my seat. This series is like something i have never read before and i love it. I hope Montana get everything that he deserves. Jan 20, Imoni rated it it was amazing. Speechless Boooooooook is wild crazy Ma, omg this book just keeps getting better and better everytime. Whewww on to part 3. Nov 18, Chasity rated it it was amazing.
Great Read! This book kept my attention from beginning to end! May 07, Yvonne rated it it was amazing. Mar 09, Mysoz rated it it was amazing. I have No words! I've yelled; jaw dropped several times and walked away from it a few times! Jul 18, Leanna rated it really liked it. It took a while It took a while but definitely s better read than part I was confused on part 1 but part 2 definitely makes me want to read part 3. Nov 11, Ulyssesa Thomas rated it it was amazing.
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Great Read This is getting good. Montana us on some foul mess. Koda has no fear in him. Smh the ladies ion emuch have words for especially Lauryn. I can't wait for book 3. Jun 30, Tiffany Young rated it it was amazing. So Engrossed!!! You are the BOMB!!! I'm so engrossed in your writing, it's ridiculous!! I'm slick upset about Montana not being "Montana" Ok bye - Gotta go to book 3!
Jun 28, Kris Danielle rated it it was amazing. NATS2 This book is getting crazier by the minute! Lying behind! I can't wait to see how this unravels! May 21, Dorothy rated it really liked it. The characters are interesting and can be multifaceted. I always enjoy the humor she interjects.. Mar 22, Shenequa Singleton rated it it was amazing. Maaan Montana was driving me crazy!! Stealing Koda's life?! It was cool to see him finally liking someone but the way he came in contact with her was all wrong!!
Loved tori and yayo but I'm worried he's up to something too. Dec 24, Monieka Williams rated it it was amazing. Oooooohhhhhh weeeeeeeee Lmaoooo. I have to move on to the next book, because baby this is too deep. Bye :. Feb 13, latasha finney rated it it was amazing. Cannot get enough of Koda, on to read book 3, dying to know how it ends. Mar 24, veronica earley rated it it was amazing. I'm living in China and you give me life!!! Desiree, Desiree!! Woman let me tell you! Your books give me life. I moved to China a few months ago from Singapore, but originally from the U. I am an 56 year old African-American women with no family or friends here in China.
I don't watch television, because it's all in Chinese, which I don't speak, and I'm not a television watcher I love to read, and that's where your books come in. I read everything and anything. White authors, African-American I'm living in China and you give me life!!!
White authors, African-American authors, men authors women authors, it doesn't matter to me as long as they have a great story to tell, and lady let me tell you, you are Feb 22, BriAnn Danae rated it it was amazing. Jaw Dropping I'm stuck, literally sitting her with my mind in over drive. Kodas story and background is just, wow! How dare Adrian Freeman try to replicate a life he never lived! Yes, I'm pissed off. Such a fraud and then to blame the rape!?
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I keep reading it over to see what I missed.. Maybe I'm thinking to hard or not enough. I loved what you did with the beginning. How he is basically writing the book! Freaking amazing! NEVER sign to someone. You do great by yourself! Feb 26, Shaunphoo rated it it was amazing. The Shut!!! I just freaking love her books! Montana is grimy he want to be in charge but he has to lie on Koda to save face and to say y'all aren't friends you are the weakest link I love DeMorgan together and also Cashmere and DeAngelo together they are my favorite to read about, Koda is going to blast Montana I believe Koda is low key crazy but I think Lauren is going to get Montana herself when she finds out the truth Hyped for part 3.
Feb 25, Jodi Moore rated it it was amazing. Desiree Desiree Desiree Ma'am you have caused me to doubt and love certain characters at the same time! I was not prepared to fall in love with Koda and Demarco spotty dotty still has me laughing to myself I damn sure wasn't ready for Yayo even though behavior out for my boo Shiloh.
The thing I want the most out of this series is for my girl Hazel Carter to love someone as much as she loves them,because my girl is a straight rider and I hope my new boo Jacob is her rider!! Dec 27, April rated it it was amazing. Okay so Tana got me looking at him sideways something just not adding up at all PS I love me some Marco yayo and junie these books just keep getting better and better but D'Angelo got me looking at him funny to the way he flipped out asking what did she see Like what was she suppose to have seen hummmm o well on to part 3 I so love your work.