Montana GOP Unveils Committee to Prevent Gerrymandering

Helena, MT – Today, Montana Republican Party Chairman Don “K” Kaltschmidt appointed Terry Nelson of Ravalli County to lead the MTGOP Redistricting Committee which will work to hold the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission accountable during the redistricting process.

Redistricting Committee Chair Terry Nelson provided the following statement after the Committee’s formation:

“The Redistricting process plays a critical role in securing reasonable representation for the people of Montana and I appreciate Chairman Don “K” Kaltschmidt’s nomination to lead this important effort on behalf of the Montana Republican Party,” said Terry Nelson. “We need to ensure that we have a transparent and equitable process that is free of political calculation or any effort to gerrymander Montana’s Congressional or Legislative Districts, and I look forward to working with community leaders in the months ahead.”

Following the announcement of a second Congressional District on April 26th, Montana Republicans, despite unanimous opposition from Montana Democrats, passed legislation to prevent gerrymandering by requiring the Commission to design Congressional Districts that are compact, continuous, and of equal population to ensure Montanans are best represented in our two Congressional Districts.

Montana Republicans continue to express concern with the Commission’s members and recent maps found in the Montana Capitol show there is an interest in creating Congressional Districts that favor political ideology, not commonsense criteria that would ensure accurate representation for the people of Montana.

While Montanans expect a nonpartisan redistricting process, the process to this point continues to heighten concern for Montana Republicans. However, the MTGOP Redistricting Committee is hopeful that the Commission’s fifth member, Maylinn Smith, will abide by her past comments to “listen to both sides” and “reach a fair resolution” as Commission Chair.

The Montana Republican Party Redistricting Committee includes the following individuals:

Terry Nelson – Ravalli County

Sarah Swanson – Valley County

Tim Stark – Yellowstone County

Vondene Kopetski – Missoula County

Chris Shipp – Yellowstone County

Mary-Rose Beasley – Musselshell County