State Rep. Tom Woods of Bozeman says there wasn’t one specific incident that was the tipping point that led him to become a candidate for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat. The Democrat says he's just frustrated with the direction the country is currently heading.
This includes the millions of dollars it takes to run for Congress.
"This race isn’t going to be won with money. The incumbent, Mr. Gianforte, has millions of dollars of his own money. We’re not going to beat this guy with money," says Woods. "We’re going to beat this guy with ideas and with a plan. What we are going to do in the United States Congress to make life better in Montana."
Woods also isn’t deterred by the growing field of opponents in the Democratic primary. He thinks he has a good a chance as anyone, saying none has an obvious advantage when it comes to name recognition. He thinks his record in the Montana Legislature is what will distinguish him from the other candidates.
"I have successfully passed bills that have stood up to the utility companies. I have taken on hospitals. I have taken on special interests and I think that that distinguishes me from the rest of the crowd," he says.
Woods joins another 3-term state Representative Kathleen Williams, also of Bozeman; Billings attorney John Heenan; and former land trust director Grant Kier of Missoula in the Democratic primary. On Saturday another former legislator Lynda Moss of Billings is set to formally announce her candidacy.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face off against first term congressman Greg Gianforte next fall.