Highlighted Statewide Candidates

Highlighted Statewide Candidates

Monica Lindeen
Helena | Secretary of State

Monica Lindeen was elected Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Montana State Auditor in 2008 and relected in 2012.  She is currently seeking the position of Montana Secretary of State.  Since Lindeen was sworn in as Auditor, she has helped recover more than $36 million for Montana insurance customers who have had their bills wrongfully denied or inaccurately settled by insurance companies. Lindeen has worked to recover $385 million in restitution from financial criminals who have victimized Montanas.  In 2013, Lindeen was awarded the Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award by the National Association of Insurance Commissionrs (NAIC), and in 2016 was elected President of NAIC, giving Montana a voice at the national and international level. 

The daughter of truck driver and a waitress, Monica Lindeen inherited a passion for hardwork.  The first of her family to graduate with a college education, Lindeen earned an English degree from Montana State University Billings at the age of 30, and worked as a faculty member in the English/Philosophy department from 1992-1994.  From 1995-2000, she helped build the Montana Communications Network, a locally based Internet provider that became a statewide success.  After her time as successful business owner, Lindeen entered the field of politics.  First by being active in her community and getting industrial coal moved out of her community, and later by serving the Montana House of Representatives in House District 43 for four terms.

Lindeen has a proven track record for ensuring that money and influence do not step on the rights of Montanans.  She hopes to take this passion to the office of Secretary of State where she will build long term solutions to real problems, help Montana’s family businesses, and maintain Montana’s outdoor heritage.

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Melissa Romano
Helena | State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Melissa Romano is a collaborative leader and problem solver in and outside of her classroom. She is currently running for Superintendent of Montana’s Office of Public Instruction.  Having worked as an educator for more than ten years, Romano is a recipient of the 2012 National Science Foundation’s “Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching."  In Helena Romano serves as a facilitator of a Helena School District elementary mathematics support group that focuses on developing students’ mathematical disposition. She served a three-year term for the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and is currently the President of the organization. Romano also served as a board member for the Montana Learning Center and the Smarter Balanced State Network of Educators for Montana.

In addition to her work in the classroom, Romano works hard to continually achieve improvement in the public education system in Helena, throughout Montana, and at a national level. She is a Core Advocate with Student Achievement Partners, and as one of only 130 educators Romano was chosen to be a Master Teacher with BetterLesson, a website devoted to sharing teaching best practices. Romano also participates in the National Education Association Common Core Working Group and was selected to work with educators throughout America as a juror and evaluator for the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products with Achieve, an independent organization dedicated to working with states to raise standards.

Romano earned her B.A. in science and her M.S. in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport Connecticut. She is a certified elementary school teacher in the State of Montana and currently teaches fourth grade at Four Georgians Elementary School.  She lives in Helena, Montana with her husband and four children.  As a parent, teacher, and Montanan Romano is dedicated to a strong public education system.  She hopes to serve all Montanans as Superintendent of Montana’s Office of Public Instruction.

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Gail Gutsche
Missoula | Public Service Commission District 4

Gail Gutsche has long history of public service, she was elected to the Montana House of Representatives where she served four terms from 1999-2005.  During her time as a representative, she served on the Judiciary Committee, Fish Wild and Parks Committee, was vice-chair of the Natural Resources Committee, and was also elected Whip during her final term.  Gutsche worked to pass bills that enhanced the lives of low-income women and protect Montana’s environment. 

Gutsche staffed the first Montana Democratic Women’s Legislature Caucus during the 2007 session, and then became the second woman ever to be elected to the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) from 2009-2012 with two years as vice-chair.  During her tenure on the PSC, Gutsche championed energy conservation and prioritized renewable energy production.  She also served as the PSC representative for the Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG), which works to address transmission issues in the West.  She was also actively involved on the Energy Resources and Environment Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), where she planned and moderated several panels covering topics such as biofuels and energy efficiency. 

Gutsche graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, earning a B.A. in English.  She is a longtime Missoula resident, and former small business owner. She also has lengthy non-profit experience, working for a multitude of organizations including Montana Organizing Project, NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, and Women’s Voices for the Earth, Missoula Urban Demonstration Project, and Planned Parenthood of Montana.  It is this extensive experience that qualifies her to represent District 4 of the Montana Public Service Commission

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