Montana, Congress, Senator discussed on Two Broads Talking Politics
This is Kelly and I'm speaking today with Kathleen Williams who is running for Congress in the at large district in Montana. I Kathleen. Kelly grigsby with you. Yes a great to talk to you. I was really rooting you on in twenty eighteen and you came so close to winning and I think twenty twenty. You're really GONNA get it over the finish line here. So tell me a little bit about your background and while you're running for Congress. So I a three term state legislator I've got a thirty seven year career in Natural Resources Conservation my specialty has been in water, which means that I've spent a really long time bringing really diverse people together on issues that that cut very deeply into culture in economics and. Family and heritage and really finding win win win solutions and that's great background for my legislative work at and also I think for Congress and personally I'm the daughter of a World War Two veteran and my mother was from Blue Jacket Oklahoma, she left there at age eighteen to go west to work in the Navy shipyard sin. and. My upbringing has been about her was about Hard work and making your own way and. And so I've I've to reflect those values in my life in and I. Think I think they've served me well as I built my career and am now turning to seeing if I could be helpful in Congress. So the reason I'm running is Because I think. I think Montana's. Our desire. and. Deserve a true independent Voice Congress. I. Think True Representation is is few and far between it's it's rooted in. Montana's hope struggles and dreams and and someone that will put the hyper partisanship aside and work with people of all political stripes on solutions for Montana and and the country and not not be beholden to special interests. So. It's about results and not playing politics. So I think you're starting to get at the answer to this question, but I find Montana's such an interesting state. Think people think of Montana as a very red republican state, but Montana has a history. Of. has a has a history of supporting Democrats. There's a Democratic senator right now there have been democratic governors. So how you make sure that you are connecting with the people of Montana an hearing what it is that they care about in a place that may be as in so defined by party lines. Montana for many reasons is known as the last best place. Frankly I. Think it's also one of the last best places for politics. I don't know if I'd be in politics if it weren't in Montana. Because people still vote for the person here they vote for someone who they identify with who they think represents values and they don't hours vote straight party line. So they they are notorious ticket splitters and one of the examples of that is in two thousand sixteen when trump won this state by twenty points, we also elected a democratic governor we we have a democratic senior senator. And one of the other aspects about Montana the Montana elected the first. Female member of any LEGIS national legislating body in the entire world in nineteen. Before women. Broadly had even could vote so. So, Montana's a pretty incredible place for lots of reasons. A lot of it is is that the politics are about their about real sayings, not just partisanship and party lines and and partisan game. So so that that's I think part of what makes Montana different and and they're proud I think proud of being ticket splitters and and they've got a strategy in mind when they voted I know I'm one of them so it's it's a great place to run. So we knew something about what the issues are. That are important nationally. But what are the issues that are really driving the people of Montana right now so I've built my platform from listening to Montanes could seventy five thousand miles on my car between the last campaign and when the pandemic took off traveling every corner of of this one, hundred, forty, seven, thousand, square mile stage and what they're telling me. Is that number one a they wanna fix to this patchwork of in healthcare system. We've got it's it's too expensive. It doesn't work hits you complicated they. They also want to make sure that everyone has opportunity to craft and pursue their own American dream, and and then also the third big priority that Montana's tell me is ensuring that we protect our incredible outdoor heritage chart are clean air and water public lands. That is it cuts to the core of Montana's is our ability to get outside and enjoy what makes Montana Montana. So I imagine, Montana's an interesting place to campaign anyway being such an enormous state and the Congressional district taking up the entire state but then. Campaigning right now during a pandemic is is even a different thing altogether. So what what does that look like right now how is campaigning in two thousand and twenty different for you than competing in two thousand eighteen Two thousand eighteen we throughout the playbook that that encourages people to refer candidates to focus on the the big seven, meaning our our our our muster urban areas, and and I just got in my truck camper with my dog and and a staffer, and we drove all over Montana and and talk to people in their communities over. Over their kitchen tables or in their local cafes about what was important to them and and with seventy five thousand miles again on. On the vehicles between that campaign and the beginning of this one. So. So that's how you campaign. It's very different. Now, we're doing a lot of the same things we did last time. So we're being very strategic on social media, and of course, doing television and radio ads and mail and all the normal parts of the campaign. But the real thing that's different is is my inability to get out physically to tack to Montana, and so I am making a lot of phone calls and I'm calling people and asking them what they care about in how I can be helpful and so luckily, we did that traveling in the past because people remember that they're like, Oh yeah. She's the one that will talk to anyone and that that reputation. Persists and precedes me and and and I think I. Think we built a great foundation that we're? That we're sprinting from now and and it's going to serve. US Well. You mentioned healthcare is an important issue. Healthcare was already a very important issue in twenty eighteen. But now in the midst of the pandemic is increasingly important. What are some things that you would like to see Congress doing to improve healthcare in this country? So I mean I just have to start out by saying everyone deserves access to quality affordable healthcare we've. We've been saying that for for years now, and we've got to get there as a country and healthcare. The healthcare issue is is personal for me. When I was eleven, my mother started to lose your memory in turned out that that was early onset Alzheimer's and and my dad, and I became her caregivers for eight years until she passed away and so. I know when a healthcare crisis can do to a family and hand it's tough. So I've worked on healthcare issues. In, the legislature despite having a career in natural resources healthcare was one of my priorities and the economy was where my priorities in the in the legislature because that's what people were telling me. They needed so. So I. AM proud to have advanced and pass legislation that that saving lives that's that's increasing that access and affordability of healthcare. So, we we need a leader that can do that in Congress and has a history of doing that. Now..