For Heather Swift, we find that she didn’t even have Montana on her radar until halfway through the 2014 election cycle.
As usual with these professional types, LinkedIn is where to go to get their history.
Heather was likely born around 1987, and I say that because she started her studies at St. John’s University in 2005, where she studied Public Relations & Government, earning a BS in 2008.
At that point Swift turned right around and got a Master’s degree in International Communications, again from St. John’s. Swift took her studies seriously, making the Dean’s List, becoming a presidential scholar, and even graduating Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor) in 2011.
Following her schooling, Swift headed off to New York to help manage national and statewide public affairs campaigns. She also worked with some D.C. firms during this time.
In 2012 Heather Swift cut her teeth on some U.S. Senate campaigns in Wisconsin. She worked for Governor Tommy Thompson there, serving as his press secretary for the general election. She'd been moved onto his staff after serving in the same capacity for U.S. Representative Mark Neumann, something that helped him gain a third place finish in the 4-way primary.
My, quite a lot for a 25-year old.
Prior to coming to Montana in 2014, and still during the 2014 elections, Swift worked as Terri Lynn Land’s communications director. Land was the secretary of state for Michigan but lost in that state’s 2014 U.S. Senate race general election.
Perhaps Swift was pulled off Land’s team when it was decided Land could not win. I say this because she also worked on Republican David Young’s 2014 Iowa U.S. House bid, which he won that November.
Currently Swift is managing Zinke’s reelection campaign against Denise Juneau. If she does well she’ll likely be running Zinke’s 2018 campaign against Tester…something Tester will lose if Trump is not elected in 2016.
Originally from Montana, Saunders got a BA in Journalism from the University of Montana in 2007, with a minor in Political Science.
I'm guessing Saunders was born in 1985, making her two years older than Swift.
That summer she worked at CBS Sunday Morning and starting that fall she headed to Kennewick, Washington, to serve as a producer and anchor on a local ABC TV station.
That job lasted until 2008, at which point Saunders landed a job as Montana Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief from 2008 to 2011. At the same time she got a reporter position with NPR’s Economic Training Program.
Saunders worked as NPR’s State Impact reporter from September 2011 to August 2013. For the most part, she reported on economic issues and how this impacted those in Idaho.
When that ended, Saunders stayed on in Boise to serve as the Digital Content Coordinator for Boise State Public Radio.
Saunders came over to Montana after leaving Boise Public Radio in either late-2013 or early-2014 to work for the Montana Office of Public Instruction as communications liaison.
When Denise Juneau announced in November 2015 that she’d be running for Congress, Emily Saunders transitioned out of OPI and onto Juneau’s campaign staff.
Swift vs. Saunders…27 and 31 years of age, respectively...which will prevail?
Currently there are 186 days until the November election.
Anything could happen.