Dems scrap over PAC ad in Missoula forum

Holly Michels

MISSOULA — Two of the Democrats running in the primary for the newly created western Montana U.S. House district had a sharp exchange during a forum here Wednesday night over an ad paid for by a political action committee and running on TV stations in the district.

The race is between Cora Neumann, a Bozeman nonprofit executive who has focused on public health issues; Monica Tranel, a Missoula lawyer who has experience in the energy and natural resources sectors; and Tom Winter, a former state lawmaker from Missoula who works to expand access to broadband.

The ad says two of the candidates running for the seat “are from California” and cites a home owned by Republican candidate Ryan Zinke’s wife in Santa Barbara and a California house Neumann sold in 2020.

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“Just because you’re wealthy does not mean you should have undue influence on our elections,” Neumann said during the forum in response to a question about voting access. “Unfortunately, my opponent Monica Tranel has a super PAC that’s running lies and ads against me.”

A political action committee, or PAC, called Montanans for a

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