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One of the most valuable aspects of Montana’s history is the role of women. We have prided ourselves for decades about having the first woman in Congress, but what’s just as important in my view is the fact that when Montana was settled, women played a vital role in the survival of those early pioneers, at a time when everyone had to work hard just to survive. It was mostly the women who created a sense of community in most Montana towns.

I heard a story the other day that record numbers of women are running for office all over the country, and that’s true here in Billings as well, as we have four women running for positions in the state legislature, four women that I have seen firsthand to be hard-working, engaged members of our community. Every time I go to a community gathering, it is almost guaranteed that I will run into either Jade Bahr (District 50), Jenn Merecki (District 22), Emma Kerr-Carpenter (District 49) or Amelia Marquez (District 52). I will be going all I can to help bring a more balanced representation to our legislature, and not just because these candidates are women, but because I know they will work hard.

Russell Rowland