HELENA — Keith Pigman is running as a Republican for Montana’s House District 79, which encompasses the west side of Helena and Helena Valley. He is running against Democrat Laura Smith.
Pigman is an independent contractor and Marine Corps veteran. He grew up in Helena, graduated from Helena High and earned his degree from Helena College after his service.
The key issues Pigman would like the Montana Legislature to address are protecting and supporting public lands, education and the economy.
Check out MTN's full interview, including verbatim, with Keith Pigman below.
What is your name, party and seat you are running for?
Keith Pigman, Republican candidate for House District 79.
What is your occupation and history in the area?
Yeah, I grew up here in Helena, graduated from Helena High School. Spent five years in the Marine Corps. Then after the Marine Corps, I went to Helena College got a building degree and currently an independent contractor here in town.
Why did you choose to run for the legislature?
Oh, you know, I have 11-year-old son, and I'm really concerned about his future. I want to make sure that he has a career here and make sure he has a place to live and opportunities for him. I want this job. I want to be a state legislator. I know the job really well, with all my networking skills in construction, working with city offices, clients and different organizations to get a house builder getting projects done. My relationship and my networking skills, I think offer a very good advantage working with other legislators to get bills passed.
What are three key issues you believe need to be addressed by the next Montana legislature?
Three key three key issues. Number one being public lands, public lands have to be in public hands. It's not about getting back what we've lost already. It's about what we have in protecting everything that we have public, keeping our relationships with public or private landowners. And most of all, Montana needs to be better stewardship towards our land, we have to take care of it, we got to stop throwing our trash out. We got to be kidding. We got to pick up trash. And we have to have just overall better relationship with mother nature. Oh, yeah, we gotta keep going. Second one is education. Parents always have to be involved with our kids education, we got to be a part of it. We got to be outside, everything with school, our sports systems, parents just need to be involved. They got to talk to the teachers understand the homework assignments and show that in our kids lives. And sometimes parents get busy, always working and stuff and not always involved with our kids lives. But we need to make an effort to be a part of it. Third, third thing is our economy
Speaking about the economy. State leaders have indicated there's a potential for a $1 billion surplus possible for the state budget. Where do you think that money should go?
One hundred percent of the money, the surplus is overpaid, has to go straight back to the people. That's number one. I mean, that's a great job of our Republican leadership, having that surplus, and the money just needs to go back to the people were overcharged and we need to refund.
Over the last few election cycles, the state of elections has become a discussion point in politics. What are your thoughts on the state of elections here in Montana?
You know, I trust our Montana state elections. I trust in our Secretary of State she has done a good job. There's a lot of lawsuits right now that's costing the state of Montana. I mean, I think the bill is over a million dollars right now. And that comes right out of our fees or taxes in Montana is paying for that. I have a lot of trust in our Montana elections. And I will just continue to support our election judges and our administration and always following up and doing all the due diligence that it takes to make sure our elections are safe and have a lot of integrity.
Is there anything else you want to say that we haven't covered so far or you think that voters should know?
Yeah, I want this job. I want to be a state legislator, my networking skills. I know I can do this job really well and represent the people of House District 79.