After introducing her partner to the public at an event last weekend, Montana politician Denise Juneau is making history as the state’s first openly LGBT Congressional candidate.
According to the Great Falls Tribune, the 48-year-old Democrat announced her plans yesterday to run for the House of Representatives seat. Since then, Juneau (who is also the nation's first Native American woman ever elected to a statewide office) has received numerous words of support from her colleagues and political contemporaries.
“Her run for Congress is historic in many ways, which is why we’re seeing major endorsements and unprecedented excitement from every corner of the state,” Lauren Caldwell, Juneau’s campaign manager, said in a statement to the Tribune. “She’s the first female American Indian to win statewide office, twice. Denise will be the first woman Montanans send to Congress in 75 years. Denise is proof that anyone can go from Head Start to Harvard, from a small town to the U.S. Capitol. In Congress, Denise will be an independent voice who puts all Montanans first.”
“Lola and I wish her and her partner all the best,” Congressman Ryan Zinke, the Republican incumbent currently holding Montana’s sole House of Representatives seat and Juneau’s potential political rival, also said in a statement to the newspaper. “It’s important to have somebody strong and loving by your side during campaigns.”
Juneau currently serves the state of Montana as the superintendent of Public Instruction. She was first elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012.
Visit Juneau’s campaign website here.