Just days after defeating CI-102, the constitutional initiative redefining “personhood” under Montana’s Constitution, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana launched itself into its second electoral campaign in earnest. With the help of candidate voting records and candidate questionnaires, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana committed itself to targeting resources on winnable (but not a given), pro-choice candidates who were essential to maintaining balance in the Montana Legislature. Additional attention was given to those candidates who represent a district with a Planned Parenthood clinic (Billings, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula).
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana endorsed 44 legislative candidates and 24 won their races. PPAM selected 13 priority races to engage in independent expenditure campaigns to elect pro-choice candidates. Additionally, PPAM worked with candidates who overlap in other progressive issue areas and who are members of PPAM. Working in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula, PPAM and its staff/members:
- Knocked doors in two key Billings races: Pam Ellis (HD 47) and Kendall VanDyk (SD 25);
- Knocked doors for two key Helena races: Joe Cohenour (HD 77) and Jill Cohenour (SD 39);
- Assisted PPAM members who are running for legislature with volunteers and donations;
- Participated in statewide phonebanks to 8,000 voters in 15 districts;
- Coordinated pro-choice phonebank to 1500 voters in targeted legislative races;
- Mailed over 15,000 pieces of candidate literature to voters in 8 legislative districts;
- Participated in a National Week of Action October 22-24 including “adopting” Colorado to help defeat I-62, a personhood initiative;
- Regularly updated and share Facebook page with electoral endorsements;
- and launched a permanent policy, advocacy, and electoral website for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana endorsed 2 judicial candidates and both won their races. PPAM endorsed Beth Baker for Montana’s Supreme Court and Jim Reynolds for Judicial District #1. PPAM mailed 1200 voters in Judicial District #1 in support of Jim Reynolds.
The House of Representatives saw significant change in leadership, with the Democrats losing 18 seats for a 68R-32D split including 28 pro-choice Representatives, 54 anti-choice Representatives, 13 mixed-choice Representatives, and 12 unknown Representatives.
The Senate has 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats including 18 pro-choice Senators, 23 anti-choice Senators, 5 mixed-choice Senators, and 4 unknown Senators
Supreme Court Associate Justice: Beth Baker won. This was a PPAM-endorsed priority race.
First District Court Judge: Jim Reynolds won. This was a PPAM-endorsed race.