Incumbent Kathy Swanson, D-Anaconda, will defend her seat against challenger Elena Gagliano, R-Philipsburg, for Montana Legislature in House District 86. Both candidates will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Editor’s note: Elena Gagliano declined to participate in this Q-and-A, but told The Montana Standard she will give interviews closer to the election.

Kathy Swanson

Age: 64

Party: Democrat, Anaconda

Occupation: Retired as head teller from Southwest Montana Community Federal Credit Union, Anaconda office; incumbent state House Representative, District 86

Work history: 20 years at Southwest Montana Community Federal Credit Union

Education: High school

Family: Widowed; four adult children; three grandchildren

How would you address any challenges to Montana’s stream access law?

I have always, and will always, maintain that Montana should keep public lands in public hands.

What should Montana do with its budget surplus?

Although I agree Montana should enjoy a budget surplus, it is my opinion that we should be diligent in helping with public education, making sure our public employees are making living wages and using some of the monies throughout the state to improve, update and maintain our infrastructures.

What is the most important issue facing Montana, and how would you address it?

As I talk to people throughout our beautiful state, the one concern from every corner is jobs, jobs, jobs. It is one of the most important issues the next Legislature will address, and I hope the entire Legislature will commit to work together to improve our economy.”

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