Posted: Oct 5, 2012 7:21 AM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
Updated: Oct 5, 2012 7:43 AM
The lion's share of the political attention is focused on the race for president and U.S. Senate here in Montana, meaning that some voters may not realize there are also several other key races a bit lower on the ballot.
That's why people like Bob Winger, Democratic candidate for House District 55 here in Billings, is taking his campaign back to the streets.
"I'm trying to knock on every door and ring every door bell," Winger said. "Every night I get off of work at 5:30, I have a change of clothes with me, I put them on and I come and I campaign until about 7:30."
His opponent and incumbent, Republican Cary Smith can say the same. "I started campaigning this cycle, early in March. Walked in a few rain storms, a few snow storms."
During any other election year, these senate and house races would be in the spot light. That's not the case this year.
"It is only once every six years where we have a presidential election, a U.S. Senate election, a U.S. House election, we're electing the Governor, we're electing the four top state-wide offices," said MSU-Billings Political Science professor Craig Wilson.
This leaves no room for those local candidates to campaign through television and advertisements.
"It's really impossible for them to get their message out through the mass media because there's so much competition and you have all of these different districts."
This door to door method of campaigning does take a lot of dedication and energy. But the candidates say it's worth every minute of their time.
"You get to talk to an awful lot of constituents and you know what kinds of things they're concerned about. You can spend a lot of time listening and get eye to eye, face to face contact," Smith said.
"People are actually engaging when I do get to talk to them, so it's just been a pleasure to get around the neighborhood," Winger added.
Often times, if a voter isn't familiar with a candidate on the ballot, they'll go with the political party they identify the most with.
But since these representatives pass state laws, voters should get to know these candidates and where they stand on issues, to make the best decision.
Click here to find out what senate and house candidates are running for election.