NewsMontana Politics


Kalispell woman second Republican candidate to file in western congressional district

Mary Todd will battle Zinke, Olszewski for GOP nod
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 10:58:23-05

HELENA — Mary Todd, a Kalispell Republican who calls herself an “unapologetic, America-first conservative,” is the second GOP candidate to file to run for Congress in Montana’s District 1, which is a new open seat that covers western Montana.

Todd filed last Friday, joining Kalispell surgeon and former state Sen. Al Olszewski as the only Republicans to pay their $1,740 filing fee to become an official candidate in Congressional District 1 for the 2022 elections.

However, they’ll soon be joined by former Congressman and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Republican who’s running for the seat and is the likely favorite. Zinke has yet to pay his filing fee, although filing began only last week.

District 1 includes all or part of 16 western Montana counties and the cities of Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell and Butte. The new, open seat was created this year because an increase in Montana’s population reflected in the 2020 Census gave the state an additional House seat.

Todd, a political unknown, said in a news release last week that she “can no longer stand by and watch this great nation go down in flames.”

“As your congresswoman, I will fight for a limited and accountable government, 2nd Amendment rights, the sanctity of life, and to stop the hierarchy trying to push radical ideology in our schools,” she said.

In launching her campaign, Todd also talks about the 2012 death of her son, Shane, who the family believes was murdered in Singapore because he had objected to his company’s illegal transfer of U.S. technology to a Chinese tech giant. He had been working in Singapore as an electrical engineer.

She said if she’s elected, she’ll work to crack down on China’s “illegal trade practices” and recognize that communist Chinese leaders are a “threat to freedom and to the American way of life.”