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Gianforte visits Polson on 'Montana Comeback Tour'

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POLSON – U.S. representative Greg Gianforte presented his plan for bolstering the state economy at an event at Lake City Bakery on July 15. Gianforte is the Republican candidate for governor. His running mate Kristen Juras also attended the event. 

The visit was part of Gianforte’s “Montana Comeback Tour,” which took him to 12 towns across the state. At the event Gianforte explained his plan and took audience questions from about 20 community members who attended the event. 

Gianforte said improving the state’s economy is a priority for him in his run for governor. “There are lots of people hurting right now, and even before this COVID crisis occurred, Montana didn’t have enough good paying jobs,” he said in a phone call after the event. He added that he wants to create more jobs in the state so that young people don’t have to move away to find work. 

Gianforte is running for governor against Democratic nominee and current lieutenant governor Mike Cooney. Part of Gianforte’s plan to bolster the economy is to re-open businesses despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he trusts medical experts who say social distancing is necessary to curb the spread of the virus, but he wants to “use the facts and safely open the economy.” He added that his plan for re-opening would prioritize the safety of vulnerable people. 

Gianforte visited Polson after traveling around the state, in the midst of calls for social distancing, mask wearing, and limited travel. The Flathead Reservation is under a shelter-in-place order from the tribal government. Gianforte said he felt that the trip was responsible because the group took precautions, like limiting crowd size and providing hand sanitizer. 

Gianforte answered community members' questions, which ranged from job creation to natural resources development. He said he was encouraged by the turnout and conversation with locals. “The bigger something gets the farther you are from the truth, and that’s why I wanted to meet with people in a bakery in Lake County,” Gianforte said. 

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