Ellie Elliot to run for Montana Senate

On Monday, March 10, 2014, Red Lodge resident Elli Elliott announced that she has filed as a Democrat for Montana Senate District 29, including Carbon, Stillwater, and part of Sweetgrass County.
“The people of our district deserve a real choice,” she said, “and I mean more than a choice between Democrat and Republican. We deserve a choice about how politics is done. As Montanans, let’s try politics with our ‘Big Sky spirit.
“Wherever I’ve gone since graduating from high school in Billings, I’ve valued being identified as a Montanan. People say there’s a ‘spaciousness of spirit’ that goes with our Big Sky. Let’s bring that openness to our politics.”
Elliott has a long history in Montana. When her family moved to Billings when she was 10, she fell in love with Montana. “It’s the culture as well as the landscape,” she says. “It’s the way we treat each other as equals, not putting on airs.”
As a Montanan living elsewhere, Elliott was a minister and activist. For example, she helped Arkansas farmers get pollution controls on a huge coal-fired power plant and Chicago residents save a hospital.
In her years in grassroots economic development, she managed companies to employ youth in Chicago and worked with peach growers in rural Mexico.
As a minister with farmers in northeast Colorado, she learned the passion that is one of the reasons she has decided to run for office. “I’ve seen how hard families will struggle for this way of life,” she says, “how many other jobs they’ll work to ‘support the farming habit’ as they say. We need to explore paths to a sustainable future for rural life.”
“But rural prosperity doesn’t mean rolling over and playing dead for the oil and gas industry because they promise jobs,” she continues. “Done wrong, such development can ruin a more sustainable long-term future -- all for short-term gains that mostly don’t even stay here. The people who live, work, farm and ranch here deserve a sustainable future.”
Elliott returned to Montana in 2007. She lives in a cabin in Red Lodge that her family has owned for 50 years. Her parents, Rev. Frank and Gerry Elliott, were active Red Lodge residents in their retirement, and Elliott visited often.

Elliott is a member of the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce, the Climate Protection Group, and an officer of the Carbon County Resource Council. She holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Loyola University Chicago and participates in academic organizations.
Like many residents of Senate District 29, Elliott works at several jobs to sustain herself. She works full time overnight caring for elders in assisted living in Red Lodge. She is an adjunct instructor at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, as well as a writer and speaker. She owns her own wedding officiant business, Honor the Occasion.
Elliott looks forward to working with residents to develop solutions to challenges we face – with our “Big Sky spirit.” Contact Elli at webelliott@live.com or 406-426-1330 for more information. Watch for Facebook and web pages.