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Advocate for elderly in running for HD 55

Advocate for elderly in running for HD 55

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A Billings woman who works as an advocate for the elderly is running for the Montana House.

Bea Ann Melichar filed as a Democrat in House District 55 the West End. Her candidacy sets up a race in the November general election against incumbent Rep. Mike Lange, R-Billings, who seeks his second term.

House District 55 encompasses much of Lange's current HD 19, which was changed by the 2000 census and the legislative reapportionment that comes with it.

Melichar, 55, is the executive director of the Yellowstone County Council on Aging, a position she has held since 1988.

She said her focus would be on creating good-paying jobs and boosting the economies of communities across the state.

"I'll work hard to make sure that Montanans don't have to leave the state to make a living," she said. "That means investing in our workers and students by providing good schools and good training opportunities."

"That also means providing incentives for businesses to pay good wages and provide health insurance for their workers," she added.

The cost of prescription drugs for people without health insurance and abuse are also areas of concern.

Melichar grew up on a farm near Lewistown and has lived in Billings for 26 years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Montana State University-Bozeman. She has served in leadership positions on several civic organizations in Billings and Yellowstone County.

House District 55 is bounded on the west by Shiloh Road, on the north side by Grand Avenue, on the east by 24th Street West and on the south by Monad Road and King Avenue West.

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