HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Cora Neumann announced Tuesday a run for Montana's new U.S. House seat, becoming the third Democrat to join the race.
Neumann, a public health expert who resides in Bozeman, told the Montana State News Bureau this week she would fight for good jobs and wages in Congress.
Her campaign announcement came after Democrats state lawmaker Laurie Bishop and lawyer Monica Tranel joined the race earlier this month. Two Republicans have also announced their candidacies — former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and former state lawmaker Al Olszewski.
Montana was awarded the second U.S. House seat starting in 2023 based on the state’s growing population in the recent U.S. census results. The election is scheduled for November 2022.
The district’s boundaries have not been set, but candidates do not have to live in the district they are running for.
Neumann, 46, has worked in the field of public health and economic development. During the pandemic, she founded We Are Montana, a nonprofit that focuses on increasing access to health care in rural areas.
She previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2020 before exiting the primary along with most other candidates when former Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock entered.
Over the last year, Neumann said, Montanans have struggled with the health, economic and social fallout form the pandemic. She said she understands those struggles, after her father died in a lumber mill accident when she was a baby and her stepfather had to commute all across the state as a union carpenter to support the family.
Neumann said she would work to support the health care network in the state and aim to address the high costs of both accessing care and prescription drugs.
“It all goes back to good jobs and good wages. Health and the economy and jobs are completely interlinked,” Neumann said.
She also said she would work to preserve access to public lands in the state, saying “that is at the heart of what it means to be from Montana."
Republicans have held the state’s at-large U.S. House seat for nearly a quarter of a century, with Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale in the lone seat now.
While Republicans swept every statewide office on the ballot last year by large margins, Neumann said Democrats can prevail by connecting with voters in this election cycle hopefully less marked by the pandemic.
“Montana Democrats need to feel like we can dig into our purple roots,” Neumann said. “Montana has always been purple and has a strong history of electing Democrats. This seat is a great chance for us to have more voices in Washington.”
Neumann was born in British Columbia and moved to Bozeman as an infant, where she was raised by her mom and stepfather. She lives in Bozeman with her husband, two teenage children and dog.