State Senate leader: Citizenship question on Census is Montana’s path to 2nd U.S. House seat

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville

As the Districting and Apportionment Commission begins its work, I am encouraged by the leadership of the commission’s presiding officer – Sheila Stearns. After speaking with her early on, I believe the Montana Supreme Court did a fine job in selecting her for this important role. 

The commission’s work is more critical than ever. They will be tasked with drawing constitutional districts that are compact, contiguous, and as equal as practicable. In this spirit, Senate Republicans voted to support a citizenship question on the next Census. In Montana, and across the nation, Democrats have aggressively opposed this idea, whose sole purpose is to ensure the American people receive the proper representation they are entitled to under the Constitution. 

For years, Democrats have pushed the nauseating narrative that a citizenship question is racist. Citizenship is not a racist angle – it gives Montana a fair shot at receiving a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. If we do not get a second congressional district, it will be directly attributable to Democrats wanting to give illegal aliens representation in states like California. 

Regrettably, Democrats have used this allegation with nearly all matters surrounding election security. This is yet another offensive example of the left telling their base what to think – and using their media machine to push their narrative. Liberal dark money groups have successfully positioned themselves to have their base believe just about anything. 

In May, a Rasmussen poll showed two-thirds of Democrats believe the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction’s assertion that we have just 12 years to fight alleged “global warming” or else there will be disastrous and irreparable damage to the country and the world. Many Democrat leaders, and their dark money financiers, are banking on this crowd to continue their opposition and to amplify their efforts to create sanctuary cities and abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All of this underscores their aversion toward citizenship and national sovereignty. 

As a rural state, the stakes could not be higher. Access to public lands, providing reliable baseload power, protecting our agriculture industry, and fighting the drugs pouring into our struggling rural and Native American communities are all on the line. A second seat in Congress would be another vote for Montana Values in the sometimes-tone-deaf halls of government in Washington, DC. 

Fred Thomas is majority leader of the Montana State Senate and a Republican from Stevensville.