Oh sure, I’d heard of the state legislator making 87 YouTube videos from the House floor, but that’s about it.
So who is this woman that’s shot up the Montana Cowgirl poll of candidates Democrats would like to see take over Walsh’s seat? Let’s take a look.
Amanda Curtis in Montana
Curtis graduated from Montana Tech in 2004 with a B.S. in Biology, working her way through school as a waitress. She then went to work for Butte Central High School as a math and physics teacher, switching over to Helena Middle School in 2006 before heading back to Butte in 2009.
In 2012 she ran for the Montana House of Representatives, District 76. Jon Sesso had held the seat since 2004 but was term-limited out and ran for Senate District 37. Both won, and Curtis was no doubt helped by Sesso’s support as well as the $6,283 she raised, the vast majority from individual donors. She faced Douglas Shidler II in the primary, defeating him 88.7% to 11.3%. There was no opponent in the general.
So how did Curtis do in the 2014 primary? Well…she didn’t run. Yeah, this brings up a troubling thing to consider – each top pick so far for Walsh’s seat refused to run in 2014, Dave Wanzenried being the other.
Why is that? Last June Curtis was urged by some to run for the U.S. House seat that John Lewis is now campaigning for. But if you read this Montana Standard article from January it makes it quite clear that Curtis had “professional and political reasons for not seeking a second term.”
Now why is this? First, Curtis wanted to finish up her Masters at UM. Next, she didn’t want to step on any toes of higher-ranked Democrats when those district lines were redrawn.
Douglas Shidler’s lost twice now but I have a feeling he won’t be losing again.
So where does this all leave Curtis? Well, sitting in Butte with her term set to expire in January and a new master’s degree under her belt, if she’s finished it already. It sure sounds like she wants to get back into the thick of it, or does she?
Could these votes on the Montana Cowgirl blog be Republicans trying to sabotage and sway opinion? It’s a possibility, but a far likelier possibility is that Curtis’s own supporters are throwing their weight behind her. Obviously she’s a popular gal!
In her time in the legislature she served on the Business and Labor, Human Services, and Local Government committees. She gained some attention for calling out Republicans on the anti-sodomy law, something that really got her hackles up, as seen in Day 73’s video:
I’m impressed with this woman (watch the video, 3 minutes in!) and I can see why a lot of people are supporting her. Will it be enough, though? We’re talking John Bohlinger, Dirk Adams, Dave Wanzenried…and despite what everyone may say, I still think Nancy Keenan might be roped into this.
Until then, Amanda Curtis is certainly one to think about, and I hope she gets back in that legislature soon if nothing else.