Emily Brosten

Democrat Emily Brosten is running for House District 68 in Belgrade.

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The Gallatin County Democrats have selected Emily Brosten as their replacement candidate for House District 68 after Claire Broling withdrew from the race a few weeks ago.

Brosten, 29, is a fifth-generation Montanan who grew up on a farm in the Flathead Valley. She moved to Bozeman seven years ago to attend Montana State University where she earned a degree in graphic design. Since graduation, she has worked as a graphic designer for Seacat Creative in Bozeman.

Brosten said she decided to run for House District 68 because she wants to have a say in how the Gallatin Valley changes as it grows.

“As a Montanan, I really have a deep passion and respect for this place, and I want it to be around for future generations,” Brosten said. “If I can take actions toward that goal, I want to try.”

If elected, Brosten intends to focus on conservation, preserving and promoting agriculture and developing responsible growth plans that address issues like the shortage of affordable housing in Gallatin County.

Brosten will face Republican Caleb Hinkle in November.

Hinkle beat incumbent Bruce Grubbs, a more moderate candidate, in the June primary. Hinkle served in the Army National Guard, has assisted several Montana political campaigns and previously worked for the state Legislature.

He has said repeatedly House District 68 is a conservative district and he will represent his constituents’ values by advocating for pro-life policies, protecting the Second Amendment, lowering taxes and shrinking the state budget.

House District 68 includes the Belgrade neighborhoods of River Rock and Valley Grove, as well as more rural areas near the city.

Gallatin County Democrats see the district as one they can win because the district is changing as Belgrade grows and is split evenly between Republican, Democrat and independent voters, chair Elizabeth Marum said at the nominating convention for House District 68.

“The stakes in this election are huge,” she said.

In November, Montana Democrats hope to flip the state House, which requires gaining nine seats. In addition to House District 68, the Gallatin Democrats have their eyes on House Districts 67 and 64.

The election in House District 67 in Belgrade is a contest between Colette Campbell and Jedediah Hinkle. Campbell is an assistant technology coordinator at Montana State University and a board member of the Montana Federation of Public Employees. Hinkle served one term in the state Senate before losing his reelection bid to Sen. Pat Flowers, D-Belgrade, in 2018.

House District 64 runs from Four Corners to West Yellowstone. Republican Jane Gillette, a dentist who lost her bid for House District 65 in 2018, is facing Democrat Brian Popiel, the owner of Arete Builders in Bozeman.

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Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.

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