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Opinion: Jan. 13 can be Montana's opening day of hope

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What a difference a week can make. On Jan. 6, we shared a solemn day of remembrance and reflection on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol — a stark reminder of continued threats against our democracy in our country, state and communities. Yet, Jan. 13 can be a day of promise for renewed unity in Montana, as political candidates across the state file for elective office with the Secretary of State’s office.

This year, Jan. 13 is the opening day for filing and can be Montana’s opening day of hope. We encourage candidates to step up to serve with integrity, honor and respect for one another. We encourage them to defend our state constitution, the rule of law, and our precious, fragile democracy. We encourage others to run for office and get involved in campaigns that promote civility, dignity and respect for fellow Montanans. Together, let’s come together, build strong civic engagement, and condemn disinformation, division and disrespect. Let’s return to decency, unity and honesty.

Jan. 6 should always be a national day of remembrance. This year, Jan. 13 can be a celebration of renewed commitment to democracy, our Montana Constitution, and the rule of law in Montana.


Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, a Democrat, represents Helena and East Helena in the Montana House of Representatives and is a candidate for state Senate. Linda Beischel is a community advocate and an officer with the Lewis & Clark Democratic Central Committee.

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