Meet the Candidate: Reilly Neill (Montana)

7 mins read

Candidate Name: Reilly Neill

Photo provided by the campaign.

What office are you running for?

With which party are you running for office?
Democratic Party

Election Date
Primary: June 2, 2020

Why are you running for office? 
The pendulum has swung too far to the right and subversive Republicans are undermining science, our basic rights, and rule of law. I am running to give citizens a choice from a more diverse field in the race in our state, a choice to honor human rights and build resiliency into our state systems in order to prepare for the continuing impacts brought about by climate change.

What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
Montana needs a balanced approach to the future where economic, social and environmental goals are in balance with the reality of climate change. We want to preserve a vibrant, diversified economy; a healthy quality of life that is grounded in equality; and healthy natural resources.

We must fundamentally change how we produce and consume energy to combat climate change and we need to consider the energy needs of our neighboring states. Montana has the capability to build vast renewable energy systems and create a sustainable economic driver for the state. Fossil fuels have always been a finite resource and we need to transition before the need to do so is beyond our control. This should be our top priority.

In my campaign for governor, I’m going door-to-door to share facts and projections of the effects of climate change in Montana. I’ve launched an extensive Montana 2035 initiative to build a sustainability plan for Montana and I’m hosting Montana Climate Change Town Halls across the state to learn from our citizens and raise awareness of the issue. We must address the impacts of climate change and prepare for the future going forward in every state agency and our communities while hold fossil fuel companies responsible in our economies but we cannot do this until we have the full awareness of the people.

The foundation of the Montana 2035 initiative will look at the “triple bottom line” concept, where economic, community and environmental goals are in balance with the reality of climate change. Our best way forward is to collectively determine the long-term future of our state with all the resources we have available and then put the plan in action.

How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
Montanans share more in common than issues that divide us but seeking to work on issues as communities and collectively as a state is a challenge in a region where divisions between parties are stark.

We need to remove politics from the science of climate change. In my work in the State Legislature, I was successful in education and legislative efforts to address climate change by focusing on something both affected by climate change and of real importance to Republican ranchers and farmers: water. Making sure climate variability would be recognized in state governance, policy and planning was my priority task for many years and I succeeded in working with both sides of the aisle to make this a solid reality in the 20-year Montana State Water Plan. Crop yields and stream flows, snowpack and runoff are facts and not in dispute. By focusing on facts, not politics, we can get good work accomplished.

I believe both sides of the aisle should be treated fairly. Equality is the foundation of our democratic system.

Who is your hero?
At the moment, Stacey Abrams. Her courage and commitment to human rights, voting rights and bettering the world is inspiring.

What are your hobbies?
I love to hike and walk with my family and our dog, my husband and I both sing, we support our children in their sporting and extracurricular activities and, in my spare time, I write suspense novels set in the changing world projected by climate scientists.

What is the most recent book you read?
“From Cold War to Hot Peace” by Michael McFaul and “Hunger” by Roxane Gay

Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I have an 11-year-old son, Caen, and a 16-year-old stepdaughter, Willa who both live full-time with me and my husband Brad Snow in Livingston, Montana. We lost two old dog friends last year but we rescued Haley, our border-collie mix, last summer.

How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
I encourage supporters to reach out to me directly to find out how they can help. I spend a lot of time door knocking and spreading awareness of climate change so supporters can also do this in their own lives if they wish to support my campaign and a campaign for a better future. I believe we invest too much money in our campaigns and there needs to be comprehensive campaign finance reform. I do accept donations but I hold specific fund-raisers to afford specific campaign needs. Check my Facebook page, Twitter or website to see how you can help!

Candidate Social Media:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.

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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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