The Great Debate

Wednesday, September 14, 2022






On stage in Dillon

A debate organized by the Moncia Tranel campaign between herself and fellow Montana Western District Congessional Candidate John Lamb, the representative of the Libertarian Party, unfolded Monday afternoon at the Depot Theatre. Tranel – an attorney, mother of three, Montana native and twotime U.S.A. Olympian – won the Democratic Primary in June to represent the party on the upcoming Montana General Election ballot. A small gathering of citizens attended the Dillon event moderated by local attorney John Warren. The one-hour format opened with prepared questions from the moderator to both candidates and then in the second half-hour the candidates fielded questions from members of the audience. It was evident that the moderator presented questions prepared independently from either candidate and the integrity of the debate could not be put in question. Tranel made an issue of Republican candidate Ryan Zinke’s absence during the debate and the table featured three chairs and name plates for the three candidates. Post debate, the Tranel campaign issued a press release declaring Zinke “a five-time no-show” in the debates organized by Tranel’s campaign. In a post-debate interview, Tranel admitted that Zinke attended “the first debate in Missoula.” That debate was independently sponsored and moderated by a Montana Public Radio host and held at the Missoula City Club. Tranel has invited Zinke to 18 debates she has scheduled around a campaign swing through the Montana Western District. It is unlikely that Zinke will attend any of the Tranel organized debates. At the first debate, a Zinke spokesperson told the

Montana Free Press that the candidate would likely attend forums hosted by Lee Newspapers and MTN News. J.P. Plutt photos