Krystal Steinmetz, Havre civic activist, filed Tuesday morning to run for the Democratic nomination for House District 28 seat, which incumbent Jacob Bachmeier vacated when he announced Monday that he would not run for re-election.
Bachmeier, 21, surprised many with his announcement.
Steinmetz has worked as a reporter and page designer for the Havre Daily News, news director for New Media Broadcasters, plus she served seven years as director of community planning for Bear Paw Development.
She resigned from Bear Paw Development to do freelance work and dedicate more time to raising her two children.
Steinmetz now works as marketing and events director for the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line.
A Missoula native, Steinmetz received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana. She worked as a television reporter in Missoula and Kalispell before moving to Havre in 2004.
“I am running for the Legislature because I want to ensure that Montana and communities like Havre continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Steinmetz said in a prepared statement announcing her candidacy. “We need to work together to protect our Montana values and access to public lands, while also investing in public education and infrastructure – which are vital to our economy.”
No other Democrat has announced for the June primary.
Bachmeier, who will step aside as Hill County Democratic chairman in March, said he supported Steinmetz’s candidacy.
Hill County Republican Chairman Andrew Brekke was unavailable for comment Tuesday morning.
Brad Lotton, narrowly defeated in the Republican primary for Senate District 14 seat two years ago, said it was “not likely” that he would seek the open seat. Lotton carried Havre and House District 28 when he ran.
Bob Sivertsen, a former Republican lawmaker who served in the late 1970s and early 1980s, challenged Bachmeier as an independent two years ago, but said he has not considered running again.
Bachmeier handily won the race against Sivertsen in 2018. Sivertsen said he ran as an independent because “the Republican party is pretty much nonexistent in Hill County.”
Steinmetz’s bid for public office is her first.
She is a member of the Montana State University-Northern Community Orchestra. She has served on the Hill County Planning Board and the boards for United Way of Hill County, Northcentral Montana Transit System and the H. Earl Clack Museum.
Married to Havre business owner Steve Steinmetz, they are the parents of two children: Moriah, 9, and Sam, 6.
House members are elected every two years. The state pays each $92 a day, plus a $111 per diem.
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Email John Kelleher at [email protected]