Small Town News

Local Government

Senator making transition

Philipsburg Mail of Philipsburg, Montana

- Advertisement -

He never made it past his freshman year in the U.S. House.

Former U.S. Representative Steve Daines handily won election to the Senate last November and he and his staff are two-month's into the work of the transition.

When first elected two years ago, he joined 70 other freshman congressman in the House and because of the extraordinary turnover that year (17 percent) he said his class was welcomed with open arms.

Still, there are striking differences between serving in the two houses, he noted."The difference, I liken it to my experience as a child growing up in Bozeman where we played in a Double A athletic conference. It would be like transferring to a Class C school because the numbers are much smaller," he told this newspaper in a walking interview last week in the nation's Capitol."The Senate immediately embraced me and the entire class, Republicans and Democrats, were warmly received and welcomed to what is obviously a more tiered system of legislators," he said.

Not only are there fewer Senators, 50 compared to 435 members of the House, but Senators are elected every six years as opposed to the two year term he enjoyed as a Representative.

That, he said, instills a sense of longevity where seniority becomes more important.

He noted that the transition for him was probably easier for most Congressmen since Montana has only one Representative in the House."So the people I represent in the Senate are all the same people I represented in the House. What this office does offer though is that now I have the ability to have a bigger impact for the people of Montana."

The grandeur of the office challenges him, he said, to stay grounded."Going back to Montana every week keeps me in touch," he said, "that, and personally giving people tours of the Capitol when they come out to visit."

Copyright 2015 Philipsburg Mail, Philipsburg, Montana. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: March 26, 2015

More from Philipsburg Mail