Havre Daily News – April 7, 2022

The stage is now set. Although the general election is still months away, we know who will be on the ballot in November to represent Havre in the Montana House of Representatives. 

I’ve had the great honor of working for and with the community of Havre and a significant portion of northern Montana for the past 22 years in my role as executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp. During that time, I have worked with a committed team of economic and community development professionals to bring millions of dollars into our community to enhance our physical infrastructure, help small businesses start-up and expand and enhance the livability of a community and region that already has an outstanding quality of life. 

I now want to take that experience and devote the next chapter of my life to public service in the Montana Legislature, representing the people of this wonderful community who have given so much to me and my family. 

As someone who has voluntarily placed my name on the ballot for consideration by the voters of this district, I also believe it is incumbent upon me to outline my thoughts, ideas and positions on the array of public policy considerations that I will be asked to consider should I be elected. I’m assuming my opponent feels the same way. And the best way to do that is to have both candidates participate in public debates sponsored by nonpartisan entities that focus on the important topics that will be front-and-center during the next legislative session. 

The voters of House District 28 deserve to know where we stand on issues such as funding for the Montana University System, including Montana State University-Northern; local control of public health and school decisions; access to public lands; state support for local government infrastructure; keeping rural hospitals open; supporting law enforcement; and focusing on the vitality of Main Streets throughout Montana. 

Imagine how refreshing it would be to actually hear from candidates about how they plan to represent our area in the Montana Legislature! What if both candidates agreed to a minimum of one debate per month between now and November, perhaps each debate focusing on a limited number of topics? This would be an old-fashioned solution to the modern-day problem of pithy soundbites, partisan rhetoric and third-party attacks. 

I know I have something to offer Havre and the Hi-Line if elected, but I also know an informed citizenry is the hallmark of our democracy. So let’s debate. Count me in!


Paul Tuss is the Democratic candidate for House District 28 and serves as executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp. He has served as chair of the Montana Board of Regents and as president of the Montana Economic Developers Association.