Yesterday the Montana press was falling all over themselves to tell you about Cora Neumann.
Who the hell’s that?
She grew up in Montana, moved away when she was young, and then moved back a few years ago. Now she’s ready to represent you in the U.S. Senate.
From what I can tell, she was born in 1975 in Canada, but moved down to Montana when her dad was killed in a work accident.
I don’t have a clear timeframe here, but I think she came to the state around 1976 or ‘77.
Her mom remarried, but then her stepdad had some work setbacks with the 1980s recession.
That started in July ‘81 and was over by November ‘82, though many were struggling for years afterward.
Neumann’s family moved out of the state with her around that time and didn’t come back for six years, which would have been around 1988.
We’re not told what state or states Neumann lived in during that time, and I doubt we’ll hear more about it.
Mainly, Neumann had no memorable experience in Montana until she was around 13 or 14-years-old...a middle school student.
She spent her teenage years in Montana, going to high school...somewhere...perhaps Bozeman or Great Falls. I figure she graduated in 1993, as that was the year she started at American University in Washington, D.C.
She did two years there before transferring to the University of New Mexico. She finished up there in ‘95 and then headed up to New York’s Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health for her master’s degree.
School was done at that point, and she began her career, first with a Jewish advocacy group for nearly two years and then for the WHO for nearly a year. Both jobs had her in communication roles.
At that point Neumann felt she needed another degree, so headed across the pond to Oxford. It took her 12 years to get that degree, and while pursuing it she even worked on the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
More jobs followed over the years, but then in 2015 Neumann decided it was time for a slower pace and she moved her family back to Montana. I suspect a large reason for this were her two kids, who she wanted to see spend their formative years in a smaller town, like she did.
By my estimation, Neumann has spent just about 15 of her 44 years in Montana.
She’s carpetbagged herself back here from the East Coast, thinking her impressive resume is enough to win over identity-politics-oriented Democrats in the primary, and the electorate at-large in the general.
She’s joining the black refugee figurehead mayor (Helena is run by a city manager), as well as the man that killed someone with his campaign rollout. With company like that, she probably has a much better chance than we assume. After all, no one thought Kathleen Williams was going to win the primary last year.
Against Daines, she has no chance whatsoever.
Next week or so Neumann and the other two will have another one in their race - Michael Knoles, a 32-year-old physicist that was travelling in Spain of all places when the Montana media contacted him about representing Montanans.
He actually moved to Bozeman about 3 months ago, from where I have no idea. He went to school in Idaho and then South Dakota and telecommutes for some company based in San Francisco.
For years I’ve been telling you about the Montana Democrats’ lackluster bench.
These are the people they draw on to run for statewide offices when others are termed-out; to run for the PSC races when legislators are termed-out; and to run for the legislature when those folks are done.
Sadly for Montana Dems, the bench has been empty for years.
The Neumann’s and Knoles’ of the world come rushing in to fill that void.
That doesn’t benefit hardworking, Montana families...not at all.