Gazette endorsements

In the course of presenting news and opinions about candidates in Tuesday’s election, The Billings Gazette also offers recommendations for voters’ consideration. Consistent with longstanding practice at this community newspaper, the editorial board interviewed all major party candidates for offices in which it offers an endorsement, exception in the White House race. Unfortunately, those candidates weren’t in Montana this season.

The Gazette editorial board recommendations are listed here. 

We hope that these recommendations will help readers make their own decisions. Regardless of which candidates a person supports, our strongest recommendation is always to vote for the candidate of your choice.

President of the United States: Mitt Romney. America needs a new CEO to meet people’s expectations for economic growth.

U.S. Senate: Jon Tester. In his first term, Tester demonstrated that he is the candidate most capable of working across the aisle to get important things done for Montana and the nation.

U.S. House: Steve Daines. Daines’ extensive business experience will help him bring the necessary focus to decision making in Congress.

Governor of Montana: Rick Hill. Decades of experience in government and private business give Hill the edge in planning for Montana’s prosperous future.

Secretary of State: Linda McCulloch. McCulloch earned another term by spending her first term working tirelessly for fair, honest, open, accurate elections for all eligible Montana voters.

Attorney General: Pam Bucy. Criminal prosecutor, private attorney, legislative liaison, chief deputy attorney general — Bucy has done all those jobs well and is ideally prepared to be Montana’s top law officer.

State Auditor: Monica Lindeen. A former state representative from Yellowstone County and small business owner, Lindeen understands the auditor’s responsibilities for protecting insurance and securities customers and working constructively with those businesses.

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Denise Juneau. A successful graduate of Montana’s public schools, Juneau has worked hard to share that success with today’s students by collaborating with local communities to measurably improve school performance, prevent dropouts and graduate students who are prepared to tackle college and careers.

Public Service Commission, District 2: Chuck Tooley. On the Billings City Council, Tooley built a reputation for fairness and respectful dialogue. His public and utility sector experience will serve District 2 well on the PSC.

Supreme Court Justice: Laurie McKinnon. As a District Court judge, McKinnon started a drug treatment court and revitalized an advocacy program for abused and neglected children — all while splitting her time between two courthouses and cases from four counties. Her judicial perspective and can-do attitude will be assets on the high court.

Yellowstone County Commissioner: Bill Kennedy. Whether he’s at the state Legislature, talking to Montana’s congressional delegation, advocating for seriously mentally ill people, cooking lunch for senior citizens or planning major road projects or raising money for the veterans cemetery, Kennedy is always working for Yellowstone County.

Yellowstone County Clerk of District Court: Carol Muessig. The clerk of court is the keeper of important legal documents whose office must work smoothly with six district judges and their staff. With a solid background as a legal secretary, Muessig has done the clerk’s job well for one term and can be counted to perform competently in a second term.