NewsMontana Politics


Kalispell woman makes son’s death key element of her campaign

Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 12:29:18-05

HELENA — Western district Republican congressional candidate Mary Todd’s reason for running is not what you hear from the usual candidate: That she has experience dealing with governments, both domestic and international, when investigating the murder of her son 10 years ago.

“I cannot be bought,” she told MTN News in an interview last week. “My son died because he could not be bought. He gave his life. I’m willing to give my life; I’m willing to fight for this great state and our great nation.”

Todd’s son, Shane, died in 2012 in Singapore, found hanging by his neck in a hotel room the day after he left his job with a Singapore firm, with a new job awaiting him in the United States. Local authorities ruled it a suicide, but Todd said she’s certain he was murdered, because he had told his family weeks earlier he feared for his life, due to his suspicions about his employer illegally transferring sensitive technology to the Chinese communications giant, Huawei.

Todd, from Kalispell, said she’s pushed, without success, for a congressional investigation into her son’s death. She’s also written a book about it: “Hard Drive: A Family’s Fight Against Three Countries.”

Todd said her experience is relevant to the job of congresswoman, because she believes that the Chinese Communist Party “has a lot to do with all the division in our country” and wields plenty of influence among members of Congress.

Todd, 66, new to electoral politics in Montana, joined the race for the new, open western district last October. Her opponents in the 2022 GOP primary are former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, former state Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell and Allen McKibben of Columbia Falls.

She calls herself an “unapologetic, America-first conservative” who favors limited government and gun rights, is against abortion and against schools teaching “critical race theory.”

Todd said she’s been traveling the district, which covers all or parts of 16 western Montana counties, talking to voters and trying to get her message out.

She also said her experience of getting the brush-off from so many elected officials, when inquiring about her son, has made her dedicated to becoming a congresswoman who won’t do the same to her constituents.

“I will listen to constituents when they have a problem,” Todd said. “I will not be one who will ignore or try to turn the other way.”