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Bozeman woman running for state house seat says more under-35 voices needed

In 2019, 19 out of 150 legislators were under 35
Posted at 2:15 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 16:15:23-05

Alice Buckley is a few days away from two important dates.

Jan. 9 is the candidate filing open for statewide, state district and legislative candidates running in Montana. It’s also a couple days after her 27th birthday.

“I have the interest and the commitment in having equal representation in the Legislature and believe the Legislature should represent and look like the communities across Montana,” said Buckley at her home on Friday morning.

Buckley is running as a Democrat for the House District 63 seat in the Bozeman area, previously occupied by her fiance, Zach Brown.

She says she’d like to see some more diversity in the Montana Legislature so it can better represent Montanans.

“A diverse Legislature is a more impactful, more resilient, more effective Legislature, and diversity can take so many different meanings,” said Buckley.

Buckley says a range of diversity is needed to represent Montana, and the Legislature could benefit from more younger voices in office.

“By and large, those young legislators are an anomaly,” Buckley said.

In the 2019 session of the Montana Legislature, 19 out of 150 legislators in the House and Senate were under the age of 35.

While that figure is up from the previous two sessions, the number remains well under 20% of the House and Senate combined.

“I think that’s why you look at the Legislature, it's a relatively older population. It’s a relatively more affluent population. It’s geared more towards particular occupations,” said Buckley.

The filing deadline is March 9, and the primary election is scheduled for June 2.