Politics

US House candidate John Lewis proud of Warm Springs heritage






John Lewis rides in the Crow Fair on August 16, 2014. Photo from Facebook

John Lewis, the Democratic candidate for Montana's sole U.S. House seat, talked about his tribal heritage at a campaign stop on the Crow Reservation on Saturday.

Lewis said his father Mike Lewis is an enrolled member of the Warm Springs Tribes in Oregon. His grandfather, Harold Lewis, served as the first secretary of the tribe's modern day council from 1938 to 1941.

Lewis is not enrolled in the tribe -- he was born in Montana after his grandfather moved his family there to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He said he would work closely with tribes in the state if he wins the November election.

"I am proud of my ancestry and believe we all need to do our part to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of all of our Indian nations," Lewis said during the 96th annual Crow Fair. "I am here to ask you for your friendship and guidance. If elected, my door will always be open to you and I will always fight to make sure Washington honors its promises to our sovereign Indian nations."


Ryan Zinke, in white, talks with attendees of the Crow Fair. Photo from Facebook

The Republican candidate for the seat is Ryan Zinke. He also visited the Crow Fair over the weekend and participated in the 63rd Annual North American Indian Days on the Blackfeet Nation last month.

“It was an honor to spend time with so many of the Blackfeet people,” Zinke said at the time. “I grew up just over the hill from [Browning] and have a great deal of respect for the Blackfeet way of life and their traditions.”

The candidates are vying to succeed Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana), who is campaigning for Motnana's open U.S. Senate seat. Democrats just selected state Rep. Amanda Curtis as their candidate, following the withdrawal of John Walsh from the race due to plagiarism charges.

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