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Q&A: Steve Held, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 02

Steve Held

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?

Steve Held

What is your age?


Where do you live?

Broadus, Montana

What is your education background?

Undergrad at Rocky Mountain College and San Diego State University. Graduate degree from American Conservancy Theater University

Please list your current and previous occupations.

Businessman and rancher. Previously a Screen Actors Guild Union member and actor.

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House?

Eastern Montana is getting a raw deal with a bellyaching elected official who talks a lot but delivers nothing for folks out here. I’m running to return actual representation to my neighbors across the district, pass a family-friendly Farm Bill, and muck the halls of Congress to clean up corruption by passing a ban on insider stock trading by self-serving politicians. I was so ticked off that politics killed a bipartisan border protection bill we needed to address the southern border crisis that I filed to run for office the next day.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana? 

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know we have a bunch of self-serving politicians back in Washington, DC doing the bidding of billionaires and greedy corporations over working people. We need to hold price-gouging big corporations raking in record profits accountable and they will only happen if we elect people who will work for us. I promise to work for people, not stuff my pockets and campaign coffers with dirty lobbyists and special interest money. Let’s ban insider stock trading by congressional members first and then audit the Federal Reserve.

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion? 

No. I support freedom, privacy, and a woman’s right to choose.

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded? 

Big money and dark money have corrupted our politics, elections, and campaigns. Corrupt self-serving politicians should at least be forced to wear corporate logos on their fancy suits, like NASCAR drivers, so we know who owns them. It’s no secret that wealthy people are running for office by dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into their own elections because they are banking on making big bucks from going to DC. It’s wrong and the reason Eastern Montanans haven’t had real representation and someone working for them in Congress. This isn’t a partisan issue, and Montanans agree we need to fix it before big money completely erodes our democracy. We must pass legislation to overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision and muck the halls of Congress to get rid of the self-serving politicians trying to enrich themselves while doing the bidding of billionaires and greedy corporations.

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border? 

Pass the bipartisan border protection bill now! This do-nothing Republican-controlled House of Chaos blocked protecting our border for purely political reasons in a desperate attempt to score votes. The border mess is in the hands of failure Rep. Rosendale and the rest of those clowns back in DC. How does that help America and Montana? My opponents on the other side are in full support of playing politics instead of doing what’s right for our country by protecting the border. We should also provide a pathway to citizenship and develop work exchange programs for those looking for work and jobs to provide for their families.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?  

Our public lands help support our state’s number one industries, agriculture and the outdoors, which both generate billions of dollars for our economy, create jobs, and support rural communities. But those running on the opposite side only see public lands as an opportunity to continue to sell out Montana. Our public lands and state are not for sale. We need to take Montana back, and we can only do that by making a change.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?

This is an all-hands-on-deck issue. I’m the proud Dad of a daughter who joined with a few other kids to stand up to the politicians and big polluters to defend all Montanans' right to a clean and healthful environment. It shouldn’t take kids who are concerned about their future to address the warming climate. Greenhouse gas pollution is cooking Montana and our snowpack economy. We’ve already seen an average of nearly four degrees of warmer temperature. As someone out in Broadus, we know what folks mean when they say whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. This isn’t as complicated as self-serving politicians and polluting corporations make it seem. Look, a recent study found just 57 corporations were responsible for 80% of climate pollution since 2016. Let’s hold them accountable and continue to develop new, cleaner energy that will help Montanans obtain energy freedom by producing their own energy by offering tax credits.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults? 

Before Social Security was established nearly 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty, but now it is just 10 percent. The first rule is no cuts and do no harm. Congress has been redirecting interest from Social Security and Medicare funds from these programs for decades. That is our money set aside to support all of us when we reach retirement age. Most young adults and the next generation won’t have a lot of hope these programs they’ve paid into will be available when they reach retirement age. Are we really going to be the generation that broke America’s most successful retirement and healthcare safety net for seniors? Not on my watch. First, all interest from Social Security and Medicare must be reinvested in the programs. Second, lift the cap on those who earn over $140,000 per year, but no longer pay into these vital programs.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities?

The federal government must be a co-equal partner to our tribal nations and communities. I promise to be a partner to our tribal nations, communities, and all Native Americans. A top priority of mine would be to address the inequities Native Americans face, which can lead to more substance abuse and crime. I’m committed to ending the missing and murdered indigenous women epidemic ravaging and destroying Native families and communities by providing tribal communities the resources they need to end it. Tribal nations and communities need the support and resources to self-determine and control their own destinies.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?

I wouldn’t stop until Congress passes a ban on insider trading by members. We all know of members using insider information to enrich themselves, like Pelosi, Lummis, and Tuberville, but potentially hundreds of others are guilty of enriching themselves by skirting ethics requirements and laws. Heck, even the richest member of Congress at the time, Greg Gianforte, got caught with his hand in the cookie jar making trades during the start of the pandemic to get even richer. That’s not serving your constituents, that’s self-serving and wrong.