Brown endorses Cooney

| October 21, 2020 12:55 AM

I am supporting Mike Cooney for Governor. It was not a difficult decision to make.

I’ve known Mike for decades. We worked together when I served as Republican President of the Montana Senate and as Montana’s Secretary of State. Over many years I have seen firsthand Mike’s ability to bring people together for positive purposes.

For our entire careers, Mike and I played on different teams, and we didn’t see eye-to-eye on many issues, but we always retained a good working relationship. In these turbulent times that is certainly something our state needs more of.

Political systems work best when there is mutual respect and good faith between competing political parties. Mike has a thorough understanding of this, and realizes the vital importance of bringing both sides of the aisle together. In fact, that is the only way within our system to create longterm Montana-made solutions to the challenges facing our state.

Simply put, Mike understands the skills necessary to earn the trust and respect serving as Governor requires.

The same cannot be said for his opponent. Greg Gianforte is extremely partisan and takes his cues from party leaders back in Washington, DC, not from the Montanans he was elected to represent. He actually votes with his party an astounding 95% of the time, while attempting to sell himself to voters as reasonable and non-ideological.

Gianforte’s disdain for government by the people is shown clearly by how he finances his campaigns. While Mike Cooney has demonstrated real support from grassroots Montanans, Gianforte simply writes his campaign million-dollar checks in the form of “loans.”

But most disqualifying is Gianforte’s apparent complete misunderstanding of the vital role our system of free, public education, has played in the development of both our state and nation. In conjunction with this he has never demonstrated

any appreciation for or understanding of history, which is fundamental to wise decision-making and successful governing.

Greg Gianforte is not the right man to meet this moment and lead Montana in these momentous times. If anyone is, it’s Mike Cooney. I personally know him to be a highly intelligent and effective leader. He also has a heart. If you knew him like I do, my fellow Montanans, you would vote for Mike Cooney to be our next Governor.

Bob Brown, Whitefish, is a former Montana Secretary of State and state Senate President.