In Billings Ward 4, George Blackard is running against Penny Ronning for City Council.
Ideas have consequences and as we know, so do elections. In this race there are unambiguous differences. In an era of political correctness, it is important that we acknowledge that some categories are still acceptable. Just as Democrat or Republican are acceptable distinctions, so are the distinctions progressive or conservative — they describe worldview or philosophical differences.
Blackard is a conservative who recognizes what the council’s role is, and what it is not. As a Navy veteran, he has served the American Legion in various capacities. George is a guy who wants to see our city grow but recognizes that growth is not sustainable unless we work within a budget. He is pro-life and does not favor a non-discrimination ordinance — he sees this as an issue for the Legislature.
Ronning is a progressive. In closing statements at the chamber forum, candidates were asked to distinguish themselves from their opponents. She chose to boldly distinguish herself as a feminist, “I am a woman,” she stated repeatedly, “we need a woman president, mayor and city councilperson.” She has supported gay pride-Planned Parenthood functions. She is for an NDO, is a climate change advocate, and supports sanctuary cities. As a progressive, she favors spending to accomplish those causes which she favors — apparently without regard for their relevance to city government.
Both are professionals — each will take Billings in a different direction.