Rob Quist, of Mission Mountain Wood Band fame, will seek the Montana Democratic Party's nomination to replace the state's lone congressman, Republican Ryan Zinke.
Quist made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon with the following statement from Kalispell:
“I have worked with our state government and many of our state’s organizations and citizens to promote harmony, cooperation and a common vision for our state. I feel that I am uniquely qualified for this role because I have spent a lifetime traveling the state working with and getting to know the concerns and the needs of my fellow Montanans.
"This is a time of great polarity in our nation and I feel that my skills as a communicator and a consensus builder working for all Montanans could be an asset for our state on a national level.”
Quist included a snippet of one of his songs, ".45 Caliber Man," with the news release announcing his interest in Zinke's seat.
Quist is an award-winning entertainer who began his musical career with the University of Montana Jubileers in the 1960s. He became a household name in Montana because of his work in the 1970s with the Mission Mountain Wood Band and in the 1980s with its successor, the Montana Band.
Quist is an 11-year member of the Montana Arts Council. He has been a state ambassador to Montana's sister state in Kumamoto, Japan. He also served as spokesman and advocate for the Montana Food Bank.
Recently, Quist received a grant from the Montana Office of Public Instruction to develop anti-bullying programs and a “Native Oral Traditions” program to enhance the arts in public schools.
Quist, who turns 69 on Thursday, is a native of Cut Bank. He lives in the Flathead Valley with his wife, Bonni.