Candidate Profile: Republican Ed Buttrey

Ed Buttrey is the GOP candidate and incumbent running for the Montana State Legislature in Great Falls/Cascade County HD21. His opponent is Democrat Lela Yael Graham:

I am a 4th generation Montanan and business owner born and raised in Great Falls. I previously served in the Montana Senate working in leadership roles in each session, chairing multiple committees and serving as Majority Whip. I currently serve in leadership roles as Representative for HD21, elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020. 

I am married to Jessica and together we are raising three beautiful young girls, Kenzy, Macy and TayLee. Hobbies include hunting, fishing, camping, football, exploring and any opportunity working as a coach or mentor for our children. 

I am passionate about public service and believe that we all have a responsibility to work hard for our community, state and nation. Serving in the Legislature and representing the people of HD21 has been an honor and blessing. My campaign slogan is “passion, not politics”, which means that I work hard to represent the values and needs of those who sent me to work in Helena, above all else. 

Hard work, knowledge of the law, leadership experience, and listening to those I represent are what make me the best candidate for election in House District 21. 

My priorities in the upcoming Legislative session are clear. Long term tax reform and economic development are at the top of the list. I don’t believe in political gimmicks and will work to ensure that hard working Montanans keep more of their hard-earned money year after year and that good jobs and opportunities are available. I will continue working to ensure that government supports its citizens and is not in the way of growth or opportunity for any of us. Government must be responsible, and responsive. 

With your support, I will continue working hard to represent the values and needs of those living in House District 21. On November 8th, please cast your vote for Ed Buttrey to continue as your Representative for HD21. 

‘Troubling’ Tweets From Great Falls Dem Candidate

Back in the summer of 2020 the ‘Defund The Police’ movement had reached a crescendo and was spreading, even becoming a popular rallying cry for the ‘progressive’ left here in Great Falls.

There were local protests and calls for defunding our own Great Falls Police Department as well as accusations of racism against local law enforcement.

Here is an excerpt from an email form letter sent to the Great Falls City Commission in June 2020. I received over a dozen of these emails that month, from both local and out-of-town senders:

…I am demanding that real change be made to the way this city allocates its resources.

Support for communities in need is necessary now, more than ever. I am demanding that the City Commission meaningfully defund the Great Falls Police Department. I join the calls of those across the country to defund the police. I am demanding a budget that adequately and effectively meets the needs of at-risk Great Falls residents during this trying and uncertain time. I am demanding a budget that supports community wellbeing, rather than empowering the police forces that tear them apart.

At the time it was obvious to anyone watching events unfold locally that several Great Falls Democrat candidates for the legislature were helping in organizing and supporting the protests and were driving some of the ‘Defund’ and related narrative.

Helena Lovick, now Vice Chair of the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee, and far left activist and CCDCC precinct captain Jasmine Taylor were among the most vocal.

That was then, this is now, and the hot rhetoric of the time has cooled in the face of the reality that public safety demands full funding for our local criminal justice system and law enforcement. What was hip and trendy for many at the time, ‘Defunding The Police’, is now seen as absurd and dangerous by citizens concerned about the safety of their families and neighborhoods.

And now that we are currently in the midst of a campaign for state legislature I have a serious question for local candidates: Exactly where do you stand on the issue of public safety and on funding and supporting our law enforcement folks?

That question goes to all of our local legislative candidates regardless of political party, but due to her past statements on the issue it’s important that one of them in particular clarify her position.

Democrat Melissa Smith, the losing candidate for HD20 in 2020, now running in HD23, and Secretary for the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee, has posted some troubling tweets concerning local law enforcement and public safety. Here are a few examples.

So, as a Great Falls City Commissioner and citizen who takes the issue of public safety very, very seriously and considers it the most important priority for government at all levels, I sincerely hope that Smith will clarify her positions on and attitudes towards law enforcement as she goes around town campaigning for public office.

I’m not under any illusions that she, or any other politician who may have said one thing then and another now, will respond to the question (though they should), but I am encouraging Great Falls voters to ask candidates what they said and thought about ‘Defund The Police’ back when it was a fad.

Ask them directly when you encounter them at your door, campaign events, or anywhere else.

Or you can email them. Here is Smith’s email address –

All local candidates emails can be found here.

If candidate Smith’s past statements aren’t an accurate reflection of her thinking or an indication of how she would help shape and fund public safety policy if she were elected to state office then voters need to know that. It’s perfectly acceptable to honestly change ones views over time.

But it is wrong for candidates to avoid the issue and hide their actual beliefs right before an election because they think their true position will cost them votes.

Candidate Profile: Republican Fred Anderson

Fred Anderson is the GOP candidate and incumbent running for the Montana State Legislature in Great Falls/Cascade County HD20. His opponent is Democrat Samantha Rispens:

My name is Fred Anderson.  I was raised on a Montana ranch where I developed a strong work ethic and a well-defined set of values from my family.  In that setting, I learned to respect and work with diverse groups of people and the value of integrity.  I earned a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Montana College.  My Master’s degree and my PhD are from Colorado State University. 

I am a partner in the family ranch, have owned a small business, worked construction, operated heavy equipment and have served as a public school educator for over forty years.  My wife Vicky and I have three adult sons.  We enjoy spending time with our family, outdoor activities, sports and classic cars.

I am the best candidate to represent H.D. 20 because I am experienced in the legislative process, having served in the Montana Legislature since 2017.  I listen to constituent concerns and attempt to provide common sense solutions to address their needs, while treating everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve.  I study all bills presented and attend all committee meetings and floor sessions.

I have a PhD in Administration and Supervision and have served in leadership positions at local, state, and national levels.  My diverse experience, combined with a strong education foundation, provides me the insight to quantify the challenges facing our state while developing fiscally sound solutions.

During past legislative sessions, I have sponsored and carried bills in the legislature which have been signed into law by the Governor. These bills remove barriers for work based education and facilitate partnerships between business and public schools, remove barriers to controlling noxious weeds on private property, enhance funding for students with disabilities, make vaping and electronic alternatives to tobacco illegal in schools, promote anti-littering signage on highways and improve opportunities for horse racing in Montana.

I have received the Champion of Business award from the State Chamber of Commerce, the Silver Windmill award from the Montana Farm Bureau for each legislative session served. I am currently serving as the Vice Chairperson of the Education Interim Committee and served as the Vice Chairman of the Education Committee during the last legislative session.  These experiences can only benefit Great Falls, Cascade County and Montana.

Two of the top challenges facing our state and community are affordable housing and economic development:

The affordable housing issue does not have a “silver bullet” solution.  I believe the legislature will need to work with MACO and cities to review zoning regulations.  I also believe that supply issues and work force shortages have to be addressed.

Economic development is critical to Cascade County and Great Falls.  Ultimately, County Commissioners and the City Commission have final say on new industry; however, the legislature needs to continue to work to reduce regulations and create a more welcoming climate for new businesses. Continued progress on work force development is also an essential part of this process.  I will continue to work to create more expedient processes for agricultural producers to sell directly to consumers.

Sandra Merchant: GOP Candidate For Cascade County Clerk & Recorder

My name is Sandra Merchant and I am running for Cascade County Clerk & Recorder. I believe I can use my private sector experience to make this office more efficient, accountable, secure, and customer friendly.

With my experience being outside of government office, I can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to make improvements to the operation and hope to engage the people.  I believe our country was designed for citizens to be active and involved in their local government, and elected officials are there to serve them.

I have many years of working with customers, organizing groups and events, as well as keeping and submitting records for those groups. I am currently in Civil Air Patrol, teaching Character Development to the cadets.

I am originally from upstate NY where I had a horse business. I still have a horse and like to ride; I also enjoy many outdoor sports, especially on the water.

I have been a Medical Coder for about 10 years, handling private information and a variety of projects. I have to be flexible and able to move from project to project, sometimes more than once in a day. I have to know and adjust to different rules for each individual project.

My son attends a local high school and his 4 siblings are grown and have their own homes and lives. I enjoy visiting and doing things with them as much as possible.

The people of Cascade County will always be welcome in my office; that’s what we are there for. I will do all I can to be sure that any questions are answered and that their voices are heard. I will make public records available and encourage active participation in local government offices.

Election security is a big topic right now. I will do all I can to be sure we have fair, accessible, honest, and accountable elections. I will recruit and be sure people are thoroughly trained to assist with elections, including workers from all parties represented.

The goal of the County Clerk office will be honesty, efficiency, and customer service, with the good of the citizens and the county at the center. I plan to be a public servant, not a politician!

Candidate Profile: Republican Lola Galloway

Lola Galloway is the GOP candidate running for the Montana State Legislature in Great Falls/Cascade County HD22. Her opponents are Democrat Nick Henry and Libertarian Tony Rosales, here is her profile:

Lola Sheldon-Galloway

Age 62, wife for 41 years, mother of six,
grandmother of 15, lifetime citizen of Cascade County, 4th generation Montanan,
PROUD to live in the greatest country on Earth, the USA.

Profession: entrepreneur/bookkeeper
Co-Owner of small businesses:
NSDQ, FFDQ, Great Falls Lumber/Do-it-Best Hardware and commercial/apartment landlord( received the Most improved apartment in Great Falls award in 2009-2010)

Community volunteer:
Great Falls 4th of July Parade committee since 2006
(co-chair 2016 to present)
Constitution Day Rally chair,
Citizens for Sun Prairie Park Improvements-treasurer, Sun Prairie Clean-up day committee, Family Promise, participate in neighborhood council #2, attend local water/sewer district meetings, church organist/pianist,
Support: Toby’s House, Rescue Mission, Lion’s Club, Walleyes Unlimited, NRA, MSSA, Echoz, 40 Days for Life, Save the Cowboy

Political history:
Republican state party Vice-chair since 2019, HD22 representative since 2017,
HD22-B precinct committee person since 2012, member of : pachyderm since 2010 receiving its highest award, the golden tusk in 2020, MTGOP Executive board, Republican National Convention Delegate 2020, MTFRW, CCRCC and CCRPAC.

2023 priority goals:

#1 represent the citizens HD22 needs:

  1. Strengthen state’s rights against the federal government overreach. As I study the USA and Montana Constitutions I’m finding ways to give the state back its original intended power over federal government. This will make our state sovereign,unique and sustain our Montana values.
  2. Lowering future taxes and returning tax surplus back to the citizens who pay taxes to the Montana Department of Revenue. Taxes are the citizens’ money being paid to government only because its concept is “we need government services and involvement”. When those requirements are met and there’s a surplus, like right now $1.8 billion, that money needs to be returned to the tax payers and tax percentages need to be reevaluated. Not creating new programs that’ll NEVER go away. With more money in YOUR pockets, you have the ability to live a life of freedom and independence, getting government OUT of your life instead of more entrenched.

  3. Session committees:
    2017 Judiciary, Education, Ag
    Law and Justice Interim
    2019 Tax, Health and Human Services
    Local Government Interim
    2021 Tax, Health and Human Services (vice-chair)
    State Tribal Relations Interim

I’ve attended over 23 tours and trainings. To name a few: energy resources, child protective services, tribal issues, Women’s health, county jails & state prison system, taxes and international trade.

I work hard, return phone calls (usually by text messages) and attend any meeting or training that will enhance my ability to better represent the citizens of HD22 and Montana statewide.

I have had the privilege and honor to be on, and I am a better person today because of this journey. Thank you for your continued support. As your representative this upcoming 68th session in Helena, I’ll continue to listen, learn and lead us to a brighter future in Great Falls, Cascade County and Montana. I ask for your vote November 8th.

Please contact me at (406)750-4721

Great Falls Libertarian Running For HD22

Several local candidates responded to E-City Beat’s request for profiles, and today we are starting to publish the profiles to help our readers become more informed voters.

Tony Rosales is running for the Montana State Legislature in HD22 as the only third party candidate in Great Falls. His opponents are Democrat Nick Henry and Republican Lola Galloway, here is his profile:

“I am the Libertarian candidate for House District 22 in the Montana State Legislature. This district represents the West-Side of Great Falls extending into the Greater Cascade County area including Sun Prairie.

As a brief background, I’m a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in Great Falls, and I grew up in a Filipino-American household where my family instilled patriotism and love of neighbor. Like many young Montanans I left the state, and eventually earned a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame.

Currently, I work as a healthcare and medical consultant, where I have advised 5 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies. Due to the pandemic, I work remotely allowing me to reestablish my residency in Great Falls.

Throughout my educational pursuits and establishing my career, I have maintained a commitment to the Great Falls community. Traveling on weekends during college, I worked as a nursing assistant at Benefis, primarily at Peace Hospice. Honoring my late father, I promote music scholarship and education for Great Falls students.

More recently, I’ve coached CMR High School’s speech and debate team and led four qualifying students to the National Championship this summer. I now want to serve the residents of Great Falls as a legislator and community leader.

I am encouraging Great Falls residents to “Vote Local, Vote Libertarian” with three main campaign ideas:

  • Local Governance: The ‘Separation of Powers’ is key to our republic and Montana deserves State Legislators who will hold the Federal Government accountable. I am the ONLY candidate in House District 22 who is championing the cause to return our liberties – not just leave them alone.
  • Independence: I will represent the interests of Great Falls and House District 22 not a political platform. Many other candidates also campaign on independence, but they eventually meet their party’s whip. As the Libertarian candidate, my agenda is YOUR agenda!
  • Community Leadership: I’m a different type of candidate, and I’m asking my community for the opportunity to show you what I can do, not only in the legislature, but also back home in Great Falls. Montana District 22 will have a representative and leader of the people.

The race in HD 22 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races in Montana for 2022. There will be little, if any, implication if a Republican or Democrat win this seat. Accusations of “voter-stealing” may have a place in presidential and state-wide offices, but when it comes to local politics and legislators, we need more options to truly represent the communities that elect us.

My candidacy gives the local community an opportunity to elect a representative based on principles and representation instead of “lesser of the two evils”. I hope the Great Falls community will take this first step in telling the establishment parties that their game of politics has no place in Montana.

Let’s make Montana history and elect the first Libertarian legislator!”

Great Falls Voters Should DEMAND Local Candidates Publicly Answer Abortion Question

Last week E-City Beat emailed all Great Falls state legislative candidates requesting responses to three questions:

Question One – Which position on abortion most closely describes the kind of legislation you would support in the Montana state legislature? Please choose only one option and feel free to briefly explain or expand on your views.

  1. Abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy, including up until birth, with no exceptions.
  2. Life begins at conception and abortion should not be legal at any time for any reason.
  3. Abortion should be illegal after 12-14 weeks into a pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or life threatening risk to the mother.

Question Two – Describe what you will do if elected to address the lack of affordable housing in Montana. What specific legislation would you put forward or support to tackle this issue?

Question Three – Describe in what way and on which issues you would ‘reach across the aisle’ to implement solutions for your constituents.

We asked that the responses be sent to ECB by September 23 so that we could publish them before ballots go out for the November 8 election.

Yesterday ECB received a response from a GOP candidate who didn’t answer any of the questions but included the following in the email:

“I’ve spoken to a couple of other legislators and I’d like to point out something here… From what I’ve noticed Democrat candidates overwhelmingly ignore the ECB submissions. This questionnaire is, therefore, effectively putting GOP candidates on the record in writing on the more than ever hot-button issue of abortion in a lose/lose fashion.

No matter how Republican candidates answer it will cost them votes and/or open themselves to attacks and negative mailers from the D’s.

Honestly, that’s all fine and well and a part of the business as long as the Democrats put themselves equally out there and go on the record as well. Unfortunately, they almost certainly will not.”

Fair enough. ECB will only be publishing responses to the abortion question if both (or all) ‘sides’ in any particular district race respond to that question.

In the meantime E-City Beat calls on ALL candidates to be forthright and honest in providing a complete answer to the abortion question in a transparent and public venue.

Voters deserve no less and should DEMAND it.

Abortion In Montana: Never, Anything Goes, Or Somewhere In Between?

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade back in June of this year it sent the abortion issue back to the states.

The state legislatures, courts, and governors will now be held accountable by state voters for whatever abortion laws they pass and uphold in this new landscape.

State lawmakers in Cascade County and Great Falls are now faced with a question they probably didn’t anticipate having to answer when they filed for office in early 2022, but E-City Beat will be asking each of them that question, along with a couple of other local issue questions, in an email questionnaire later this week.

We look forward to receiving answers from local legislative candidates and providing those responses for our readers.

We’re posing the abortion question here as a poll question for our readers:

[poll id=”33″]

Great Falls Candidates Invited To Respond To ECB

E-City Beat has invited local political candidates for legislature and county office to send us a profile and summary of their reasons for running. See email text below.














Greetings, Cascade County candidates.

In order to help fully inform Great Falls/Cascade County voters about the candidates and issues in the upcoming November election, E-City Beat is requesting a brief profile from each candidate.

We’re asking for you to provide our readers with a little personal bio (job, family, hobbies etc.), why you’re the best candidate for position, and your reasons for running.

We’d like you to also include the top one or two challenges you intend to tackle if you’re elected and how you would address those issues.

You may also include a profile picture (jpg or png) if you like.

Please keep your submission to 500 words or less and send it in MS Word format to by Friday, August 26th. We will publish your submissions without edits or editorial comment.

Thank you and good luck in the upcoming election.

Philip Faccenda
Editor/Publisher E-City Beat

Letter To The Editor: Supports Rosendale

Editors note: the opinions expressed in “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the opinions of E-City Beat, our volunteer staff or contributors. All letters to the editor are welcome and will be considered for publication. Please include your name and city of residence and email to

I am writing today to express my strong support for Congressman Matt Rosendale and his campaign for re-election to Montana’s new, second congressional district. 

One of the many reasons I will be casting my vote for Rosendale this election is that he’s not afraid to vote against bad legislation. One of these pieces of bad legislation being Biden’s outrageous $1.5 Trillion spending package.  

This spending package was another attempt by the far left to expand the size of the federal government while ignoring the basic needs of American citizens. Instead of addressing real needs, this bill actually included billions of dollars for the Green New Deal, vaccine mandates, and other Democrat pet-projects. 

While other elected officials prefer to test which way the political winds are blowing before casting their vote, Matt can be relied on to stand his ground and make the right choices. 

I applaud Congressman Rosendale for taking these tough votes and for voting against Joe Biden’s out-of-control spending. We need more people in Congress like Matt Rosendale who understand that more government spending means higher inflation, higher fuel prices, and a higher overall cost of living for all Montanans.

On a different note, I would also like to thank Congressman Rosendale for his support of Red Lodge after the flooding that occurred last month. I am grateful to have a Congressman who steps up to support local communities in times of need. 

Please join me in supporting Congressman Matt Rosendale for re-election in Montana’s eastern congressional district!

Edwin Halland
Bridger, MT