Cascade County legislator talks about GOP sweep; Democrats "shocked"

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 20:00:44-05

Fred Anderson, who won re-election to Montana’s House of Representatives on Tuesday, is attributing the Republicans’ success in Cascade County in part to COVID-19.

Anderson represents the state’s 20th House District, which includes part of Great Falls. He was re-elected Tuesday, beating Democratic challenger Melissa Smith.

Republican candidates won all state and federal elections in Cascade County and across Montana in Tuesday’s election. This is the first time in several years the county has been red.

Anderson believes a desire to have life return to the way it was before COVID-19 was a big factor in voters’ decisions.

"I think all of the demonstrations and radical expressions and property destruction was just not acceptable to an awful lot of voters. I think they want somebody that's going to be more mainstream in the course that they take,” said Anderson.

Having been re-elected, Anderson is preparing to introduce bills, some of which will focus on career-tech education and partnerships with businesses.

The Cascade County Republican Central Committee released the following statement Wednesday:

The Cascade County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) is proud of the election results last night. Cascade County Republicans came out in large numbers to vote for conservative candidates all up and down the ticket. I am proud of the results here in our county and throughout the state. We knew that our county electorate would come out strong for President Trump and we were not disappointed. Our President will continue to provide us with his strong leadership for four more years. Our support of Senator Daines for reelection and Matt Rosendale for the U.S. House were also in the double digits. We are proud to see Senator Daines return to the Senate and newly elected Rosendale to represent our conservative Montana values in Washington.
For the first time in 16 years we will have a Republican Governor leading our state. Greg Gianforte and Kristen Juras will make a powerful team to support our conservative values and we are excited to have had an impact on their election. The Secretary of State race, while close in the early voting, was strongly supported in Cascade County. We are excited to have Christi Jacobsen as out next Secretary of State! Austin Knudsen handily won the statewide race for Attorney General. Again, Cascade County was front and center carrying our county to a strong finish for Austin.
Troy Downing was a strong candidate for State Auditor and we proudly supported his campaign here in Cascade County. He will make a great Auditor and we look forward to great things from him in the next 4 years. To have the strong vote in Cascade County to reelect Elsie Arntzen as our Superintendent of Public Instruction is what we strived for all during the election cycle. We are pleased to call Elsie our Superintendent!
Closer to home, what an amazing turnout for our state legislative candidates! We cannot recall if there has ever been a 100% sweep of every legislative race (Senate and House) here in Cascade County. Congratulations to all 12 of our elected or reelected legislative candidates! And finally, our sitting county commissioner, Jim Larson, will return for another six years.
All in all, Cascade County has shown our Republican strength with great results. We continue to work hard to convince our county electorate that our conservative candidates are the best and the results show we are making that case. I wish to thank all voters in Cascade County and express our appreciation for their support.

While Cascade County Republicans are celebrating the red sweep across statewide races, Democrats are regrouping.

Cascade County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Carl Donovan told MTN News he was shocked to see such a strong turnout for Republican campaigns.

Donovan said they had great candidates for many races including Great Falls native Raph Graybill, who conceded the Attorney General's race to Republican Austin Knudsen on Wednesday morning.

He also told MTN News the CCDCC is also reeling from the loss of two incumbent legislators: Democrats Barbara Bessette in House District 24 and Jasmine Krotkov in HD 25.

Despite Tuesday's election results, the Committee is still proud of each candidate who ran during a campaign season unlike any other due to covid.

"We can hold our heads up high as Democrats because we had a great slate of candidates and we will regroup and will be stronger in 2022," he said.

House District 26, which had been a democratic district, is also now red after Tuesday night with Republican Jeremy Trebas defeating Democrat Helena Lovick.