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Politics
Jodi Rave: Racial overtones in Montana campaign


"The campaign for Montana's top K-12 educator position has taken on racial overtones, sparking debate from observers about race-based comments made on a talk show and a Web site.

The statewide election for superintendent of public instruction pits Elaine Sollie Herman, a Republican, against Denise Juneau, a Democrat and enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.

Herman has been criticized for a recent Internet message posted under her name on the Web site MeetUp.com, which encourages people to abandon their computer keyboards and meet face-to-face on interests ranging from knitting and independent films to political views.

Here is the post:

“I am in MT running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. I am asking for HELP from young concervative (sic) Bloggers. My web site is: electelainesollieherman.com ‘I live in the ‘Peoples Republic of Helena.' My opposition is a young Indian.”

Herman said the Web page is not hers.

“That was my daughter who wrote that - she lives in Seattle,” said Herman. “I didn't do it. I had nothing to do with it. I am not a young girl looking for meet-ups in Puyallup.”

Herman's Web site lists one child, a daughter born in 1976.

“It's not appropriate to bring up my daughter in this campaign,” she said. “If you bring my daughter into this election, I will really, really be upset. No one wants their daughter brought into an election for dirty campaigning.”"

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Racial overtones mar race for state superintendent (The Missoulian 10/29)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Denise Juneau for Montana education (10/24)
Editorial: Elect Denise Juneau to top education post (10/15)
Indian candidate wins nomination in Montana (6/4)
Jodi Rave: Montana candidate endorsed by INDN's list (5/19)