Helena resident, military veteran, and state civil rights investigator Josh Manning announced today his candidacy as a Democrat for Montana Senate District 40.
Manning says he wants to be part of a movement to rejuvenate the Democratic party so it stands to ready regain both houses of the Montana legislature to better serve Montana’s citizens. In a press release, he said he’s running to counter the out-of-state oligarchs who are influencing local elections with a flood of dark money rather than ideas and values. Manning wants to run on issues important to this district because they are reflective of values he holds dear: widening economic growth, expanding the job market, modifying educational policies, solidifying environmental protections, and increasing recreational access.
“My core issue is fairness and equality for everyone in this district,” Manning said. “I want to work on bringing equality to everyone’s incomes based on three pillars—tax breaks for those struggling to find a path to the middle class, a higher minimum wage working in consult with Montana’s small businesses, and allowing Montana’s workers better ability to unionize. We can also do more to better protect and serve Montana’s consumers whether they are buying groceries, insurance, or their first home.
“I want to make sure everyone in the district is treated fairly—no matter what their abilities, gender, skin color, who they love, or desire to be. We have a rare opportunity in the near future to make educational policies represent what Montana’s students need to succeed from early to higher education. I also want to expand public access to local land so everyone can enjoy open access. I will not compromise on protecting Montana’s environment and strengthening regulations. Democrats and Republicans need to keep fine-tuning campaign finance laws so elections cannot be swung by millionaires and billionaires inside and outside of this great state. These are not issues only for Democrats, they are policies-in-waiting that defy party lines and will better the lives of this district’s citizens.”
Manning has been a civil rights investigator for the Department of Labor and Industry’s Human Rights Bureau for the past two years. He returned to Montana after spending four years analyzing counterterrorism with a Washington D.C. intelligence agency and providing strategic support to leadership and staff at the White House, Congress, Pentagon, and military special operations forces. Before that he served seven years overseas leading soldiers as a U.S. Army non-commissioned officer and military intelligence analyst in Europe. He deployed to Middle Eastern combat zones on three occasions. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College and was a reporter in eastern Idaho before joining the military. He grew up in Missoula.
Manning has received numerous military awards and a national-level intelligence award. He volunteers at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society for its “doggie playgroup” and other events. He is a longtime member of the Sierra Club and supporter of public radio. He is a trained mediator who has brought opposing sides together to solve difficult problems.
His wife works for a local law firm and his children attend C.R. Anderson Middle School and Capital High School. His children are active in youth activities at the Grandstreet Theatre and the Holter Museum of Art, and his wife volunteers for Florence Crittenton and Montana Legal Services. He has three dogs, who are often with him on daily runs and hikes up the Mount Helena trail system. Manning is an avid hunter and fly fisherman.
Manning has a regularly updated Facebook page for his campaign for Montana State Senate District 40: https://www.facebook.com/josh4sd40/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
You can also follow him on Twitter at @joshuamanning23 Indeed as a youngish candidate (Manning is 41) he’s no stranger to social media and has even written several guest posts for the Cowgirl Blog under the moniker Secret Squirrel, several of which got a ton of traffic, for example: In praise of moderation – about the cooperation that was achieved by a bipartisan working majority during the session, or this investigative piece that showed the spread of out-of-state money in legislative races: When Democracy Blocks the Will of the Oligarchs Or this expose on what Zinke’s missing military records would tell us (by the way, Manning has released his own records, which can be seen by anyone here.)
Here in Helena, legislative races in Helena are all about Democratic primaries- and it’s good to see that in this race we’ll have such good choices. As James Conner has already pointed out at the Flathead Memo, Manning is smart, hungry, and well organized.