Amanda Curtis

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Amanda Curtis
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 74th district
Assumed office
January 2, 2017
Preceded by Pat Noonan
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 76th district
In office
January 7, 2013 – January 7, 2015
Preceded by Jon Sesso
Succeeded by Ryan Lynch
Personal details
Born Amanda Gayle Morse
(1979-09-10) September 10, 1979 (age 37)
Billings, Montana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kevin Curtis (m. 2001)
Education University of Montana, Tech (BS)
University of Montana, Western
University of Montana, Missoula (MEd)

Amanda Gayle Curtis (née Morse, born September 10, 1979) is a Democratic Party politician and member of the Montana House of Representatives, representing Butte in House District 74. A teacher by profession, Curtis has been teaching math and physics since 2006 and continued to do so while the Montana Legislature was out of session.[1]

Curtis was chosen to replace John Walsh as Montana's Democratic Senate nominee in the 2014 election after Walsh dropped out.[2]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Curtis's parents divorced when she was four years old. She credits her father's union benefits and health insurance for allowing her to obtain health care as a child, including basic vision and dental services. Her family was poor, and her mother struggled with mental illness; the family sometimes relied upon food stamps and endured periods of having their utilities disconnected.[3][4] Her support of gun measures such as expanded background checks stems directly from the death of her brother, who killed himself playing Russian roulette when he was 16.[5]

Curtis valued education as the way out of poverty.[3] After graduating from Montana Tech of the University of Montana in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in biology, she went on to the University of Montana Western, where she received her secondary teaching certificate in biology and mathematics in 2004.[6][7] From 2004 to 2006, she worked at Butte Central Catholic High School, teaching math and physics. Between 2006 and 2009, she taught math at Helena Middle School, and since 2009 she has taught math at Butte High School.[8]

Curtis is working toward a Master of Education in educational leadership at the University of Montana, Missoula.[9][10][self-published source] She resides in Butte with her husband, Kevin.[11][12][13]

Montana House of Representatives[edit]

Election[edit]

Curtis was elected unopposed to the Montana House of Representatives on November 6, 2012, to succeed fellow Democrat Jon Sesso, who was elected to the Montana Senate. In the 2013 legislative session, she was one of the 39 Democrats in the House.[14]

She did not run for reelection in 2014, instead running for the United States Senate, but she was reelected to the Montana House in 2016.[15][16]

Tenure[edit]

Curtis was sworn in on January 7, 2013.

For the first 87 days of the session, Curtis uploaded a daily vlog to the video-sharing website YouTube, discussing what had gone on that day in the Montana Legislature.[17] In April 2013, Curtis gained media attention after calling out Republican members for opposing the repeal of Montana's anti-sodomy law.[18]

During a rally sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns outside of the Montana State Capitol in August 2013, Curtis urged Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus to rethink his opposition to expanded background checks. She spoke about how gun violence has affected her own family and called for more action to be taken.[19]

During the 2013 session, Curtis was the primary sponsor for six bills that were not enacted. She was the primary sponsor of two bills that were passed and signed into law, HB 92 to remove public defender from certain court definitions, and HB 164, to revise when county commissioner district boundaries can be modified.[20]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Business and labor
  • Human services
  • Local government

2014 U.S. Senate election and beyond[edit]

Incumbent Senator John Walsh won the Democratic primary in June 2014. In July, The New York Times ran an article claiming that Walsh had plagiarized a term paper that was a requirement for his Master's thesis at the Army War College.[21] On August 7, 2014, Walsh announced that he was leaving the 2014 race. The Montana state Democratic Central Committee had until August 20 to select a replacement candidate to appear on the November ballot.[22] The Montana Democratic Party set a nominating convention for Saturday August 16.[23]

The day prior to the nomination convention, Amanda Curtis was considered the front-runner to replace Walsh.[24] She had gained several key endorsements, including the MEA-MFT.[25] The week leading up to the nominating convention, several people who had expressed interest in the nomination dropped out, leaving Curtis and Dirk Adams as the remaining candidates.[26][27][28][29] During the convention, Curtis received 82 votes to Adams's 46 (with one delegate abstaining), winning the nomination with 64% of the vote.[30] Curtis was able to accept only the maximum legally allowable contribution of $2,000 from funds that Walsh had left over in his campaign account; Walsh also distributed funds to other candidates and to party organizations.[31] On August 21, Curtis announced that she had raised $110,000 in four days and had named Clayton Elliott, director of the League of Rural Voters and lead lobbyist/community organizer of the Northern Plains Resource Council, as her campaign manager.[32][33] By mid-October, Curtis had raised $723,000 and had begun airing television ads.[34]

After election and return to the Montana House of Representatives[edit]

After the 2014 Senate election, Curtis served the rest of her term in the Montana House of Representatives and left office in 2015. She returned to teaching math and physics at Butte High School. She remained active in MEA-MFT, serving as the NEA Director as of 2015. Curtis endorsed Bernie Sanders for 2016 United States presidential election and helped organize a rally for Senator Sanders in Missoula in June 2015.[35][36][37]

In October 2015, Curtis announced that she would be running for Montana House of Representatives District 74.[38] Curtis was reelected and returned to the Montana House of Representatives in January 2017.[39] Following her reelection, Curtis expressed interest in running for departing Congressman Ryan Zinke's seat in Montana's at-large congressional district special election, 2017.[40][41][42] She was not selected as the Democratic nominee, losing to Rob Quist.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Representative Amanda Curtis Facebook". Facebook.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amanda Curtis wins Montana Democratic nomination to U.S. Senate". The Missoulian. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Who is Amanda Curtis?: A profile of Democrats' candidate for Senate". Billings Gazette. August 16, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Montana Senate race a lost cause for Democrats? Enter Amanda Curtis (+video)". The Christian Science Monitor. August 17, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Meet Amanda Curtis. She’s a gun control-supporting vlogger. She’s also the Democratic Senate nominee in Montana.". The Washington Post. August 19, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ Convergys – State Representative Amanda Curtis
  7. ^ Butte legislator Curtis being urged to run for U.S. House
  8. ^ "Representative Amanda G. Curtis's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Butte’s Curtis not seeking re-election; plethora of others file
  10. ^ "About Amanda". curtisforbutte.com/About_Amanda.html. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ Christensen, Matt (May 26, 2014). "Military helicopter rescues skiers in Highlands". Montana Standard. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ "About Amanda Curtis". AmandaForMontana.com. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ "New lawmakers learning ropes as 2013 Legislature begins". billingsgazette.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ "2012 Legislative General Election Canvass" (PDF). sos.mt.gov. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ "1 Democrat, 5 Republicans say they are running for Montana's U.S. House seat so far". missoulian.com/. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Butte’s Curtis not seeking re-election; plethora of others file". mtstandard.com/. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Amanda Curtis YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ Maddock, Preston (April 9, 2013). "Amanda Curtis, Montana Democrat, Calls Out GOP Colleagues For Opposing Repeal Of Anti-Gay Law". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Background check supporters rally at Montana Capitol". billingsgazette.com/. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Montana Legislative Services Online Search Tool, 2013". laws.leg.mt.gov/. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  21. ^ Senator’s Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others’ Works, Uncited, The New York Times, August 23, 2014, retrieved August 16, 2014 
  22. ^ Press release (August 7, 2014). "Walsh drops out of race for U.S. Senate". Missoulian. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Montana Democratic Party Releases Process and Procedures for Special Nominating Convention". Montana Democratic Party. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  24. ^ Press release (August 15, 2014). "Butte's Curtis may be the Front-runner". Montana Standard. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Adams, Curtis, Wanzenried vying to replace Walsh in Senate race – and maybe Bohlinger". Billings Gazette. August 11, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  26. ^ Alwani, Sanjay (August 17, 2014). "Curtis gets the nod from Montana Democrats". KRTV. 
  27. ^ Saboe, Beth (August 11, 2014). "Franke Wilmer drops out of race for U.S. Senate". 7 KBZK. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Wanzenried ends effort for Democratic nomination in U.S. Senate race". Billings Gazette. August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  29. ^ "2 Democrats vie for Senate candidate nomination". NBC Montana. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Amanda Curtis wins Montana Democratic nomination to U.S. Senate". The Missoulian. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Amanda Curtis getting only $2,000 from leftover campaign money". Montana Standard. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Amanda Curtis taps NPRC staffer to run Senate Campaign". KTVQ. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Curtis names campaign manager for U.S. Senate race". Montana Standard. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Tester, Bullock lend star power in final push". Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Loser in Montana Senate race returns to math classroom, with advice to fellow Democrats". Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  36. ^ "MEA-MFT Board of Directors". 
  37. ^ "Missoula For Bernie Rally Held Sunday in Missoula". Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Butte's Amanda Curtis running for state Legislature". Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Montana 74th District State House Results: Amanda Curtis Wins". Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Experience of Senate run could help Curtis in a race for Zinke seat". Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Democrat Amanda Curtis interested in U.S. House; Fagg, Graf join Republican list". Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Political wild card at MT Legislature: Six lawmakers considering run for U.S. House seat". Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Rob Quist wins Democratic nomination for congressional seat". March 5, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Montana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jon Sesso
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 76th district

2013–2015
Succeeded by
Ryan Lynch
Preceded by
Pat Noonan
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 74th district

2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Walsh
Withdrew
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Montana
(Class 2)

2014
Most recent