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Tribal leaders voted to not support the state Democratic candidate for Congress.

Penny Ronning (Facebook profile photo)

Penny Ronning, from Billings, visited with the Tribal Executive Board during her visit to the reservation on Labor Day weekend. She asked for the Tribes support and endorsement in November 2022.

At the September 12, 2022 full board meeting, the endorsement of Ronning was the first item voted on before anything else. All council members were present except Grant Stafne, who resigned from his seat on the board last week (see separate story).

Chairman Floyd Azure read the motion to endorse Penny Ronning for Congress and opened the floor up to discussion.

Tribal Council woman Patt (Iron Cloud) Runs Through said this was discussed before. Endorsement of Ronning could be bad for the Tribes because an endorsement could be viewed as being ‘against’ the other candidates.

“If they (GOP) win, they could see us as being ‘against them,'” she said.

Some council members said they voted against the endorsement because they didn’t know enough about the candidate.

The motion is the Tribes way of maintain a neutral appearance to state politicians, Sargent-At-Arms Bruce Damon said.

In the past, Democratic candidates for local, regional, state or federal elections will campaign on Indian reservations. The Tribes have usually endorsed a candidate for office.

This vote, however, is the first where fear of the Republican opinion of the Tribes was the only motivating factor decided upon.

Ronning is a former Billing City Councilman who is running to be the Congressional Representative for Montana’s Second Congressional District. She is running against Republican incumbent Matt Rosendale, and Libertarian Candidate Sam Rankin.

The huge state second district is sparsely populated and includes the Fort Peck Indian Reservation as well as the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. Historically, Montana Indians have voted Democrat, and it is not unusual to see these candidates coming to the reservation to court the Indian vote.

About Post Author

Louis H. Montclair

A journalist on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Owner of tribaltimesnews.com
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By Louis H. Montclair

A journalist on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Owner of tribaltimesnews.com

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