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Letter: Ann Moon

I’ve known Bryher Herak for over 30 years as a fellow business woman in Seattle. In 1992, she was Seattle Woman of the Year. Bryher’s restaurant was named business of the year in 1994.

Bryher returned to her home state of Montana in 2000 to be with her brother, George, a long-term resident of MDC. I moved here in 2013 because it was easier for my aging Dad and because it is a vibrant town in a gorgeous county.

I spent my working life managing hospital trauma and my home life raising kids and running a business. I believe change begins with the folks in front of us. Washington, D.C., may seem hard to change, but we can support state and county candidates ready to help Montana, for Montanans. Bryher Herak is one of those candidates.

Bryher Herak is remarkable for her considerable skills and insights. She loves Jefferson County. Join me in standing with a candidate ready to support and serve Jefferson County. Vote Bryher Herak for HD 75.

Anne Moon, R.N. (retired)

Letter: Nancy Daniels

Jefferson County is lucky to have Bryher Herak as a candidate for HD75. I have known Bryher for the past 18 years, since she moved to Basin to share time with her twin brother George, a long-term Montana Developmental Center resident. In following and joining some adventures with George, I found a kind, compassionate, smart and fun woman. She was involved in MDC’s Human Rights Committee and appointed chair of the Montana Disability Advisory Council in 1995 by Gov. Schweitzer.

Bryher brings business experience, community work in civil and legal rights and mediation experience from Seattle, where she was greatly respected: Woman of the Year 1992, Business of the Year 1994. She owned the High Note Coffee Shop and Art Gallery in Basin, a gathering place for the community and Montana Artist Refugees from all over the world.

From 2008 to 2014, Bryher worked as a mediator for the Montana Human Rights Bureau, helping small businesses across the state resolve disputes and conflicts. Bryher is an effective mediator; she will work across the aisle to find solutions for the gridlock in Helena.

Bryher is engaged in and has helped facilitate some of the Boulder community circles toward establishing the city growth plan; she is a member of the Boulder Development Fund Board and the Boulder Transition Committee. She is well informed and studies issues.

Bryher is a good listener; she wants to hear from you. She will listen to you and work for you and the Jefferson County she loves. We are lucky to have Bryher Herak as a candidate for HD75. Please vote for her.

Nancy Daniels

Letter: Linda Sandman

Bryher Herak is the Real Deal for HD75

I’m a Jefferson County resident who is enthusiastically supporting Bryher Herak for HD75. I’ve
known Bryher for many years and can’t find anyone more perfectly suited to represent Jefferson
County in our Legislature. Bryher is a native Montanan born into a large farm family in the
Flathead on a ranch. She grew up with a strong work ethic and developed broad skill sets at an
early age. Her life experiences are varied and include various successful business endeavors.
Bryher’s diverse work experience allows her to understand the world of many Montanans. She
obtained a law degree and developed a special expertise with mediation. Bryher will reach
across the aisle to get things done for Montana and her constituents. She is a voracious reader
always soaking up information, and most importantly she is an active listener. Bryher looks you
straight in the eye when you talk. As if her keen intellect and diverse experience and background
isn’t compelling enough for public office, my deepest respect for Bryher comes from witnessing
her heart-felt compassion as a sister to her twin brother who resided at the Montana
Developmental Center. She gave up a successful business in Washington and moved back to
Jefferson County to become an advocate for and provide loving support for her brother. This is
the kind of person we can have representing us in the Legislature! I hope you will join me in
my enthusiastic support for Bryher Herak for HD 75. She is the Real Deal!!

Linda Sandman
9 Panoramic Place
Clancy, MT 59634

Letter: Dee Anna and Jim Heikes

We are going to vote for Bryher Herak to be our legislator from House District 75.  We encourage you to consider voting for her as well.

We believe that everyone should have an opportunity and privilege of meaningful work, for we all need jobs that help support our families.  We need jobs that give us social and economic stability for work rendered, jobs that provide physical, emotional and economic safety protections for our families and communities .  Bryher Herak supports good jobs for Jefferson county and she supports strong healthy communities .

Bryher Herak cares about children and wishes to support all children in getting a top notch education through our public school system.

Bryher Herak believes in democracy and opposes dark money, trickery and outside interference in our elections.

We find Bryher to be a great listener.  Through her common sense wisdom and respect for people she is able to bring together multiple varied interest helping to create new solutions and resolutions.  Bryher gives us hope because she seeks better ways to improve our common well being.  Please consider voting for Bryher Herak.  Bryher is a natural leader!

Thank you, Dee Anna and Jim Heikes
Boulder, MT

Letter: John Ilgenfritz

My wife and I are in the process of moving out of our house of 35 years, downsizing to a condo.  During the home-hunting process, we noticed a Bryher Herak HD75 leaflet in our realtor’s car.  Its heading caught my attention, “Civility.  Community.  Common Sense.”  Linda, our realtor, a resident of Jefferson County, enthusiastically educated me as to Bryher’s background, skills and values.

Soon after we had an opportunity to meet Bryher and were quite impressed with her life experiences, intelligence, spirit of volunteerism to her community and commitment to finding common ground with those who hold different views.

Its essential that we elect folks who, while they may disagree with their colleagues across the aisle, can do so without being disrespectful.   The healthy exchange of ideas often results in better legislation and enhance opportunities to more effectively serve the common good.

Bryher strikes me as a candidate who wants to successfully meet challenges and solve problems.  Her only agenda is making Jefferson County and Montana a better place to live and work.

She understands that there is far more that unites us than divides us and the best way to find common ground is by listening intently and respectfully.

Bryher Herack will be building bridges, rather than driving damaging wedges.

Since we will live just across the county line from Jefferson County, we won’t be able to vote for Bryher Herak.  However, we enthusiastically support her candidacy and hope the voters of Jefferson County will do the same.


John Ilgenfritz
Helena, MT

Speech: Boulder July 2018

Good afternoon.  Thank you Carolyn and Cheryl for hosting this lovely evening and thank all of you for taking time to join us in this beautiful place.

I was going to talk to you about my background and why I would be a good legislator for Jefferson County — but you can find that information in the campaign materials that are here tonight.  Instead, I want to take this opportunity to talk with you about something deeply personal.  I may get emotional but I want to to acknowledge a deep debt that I owe to many to you — a debt has bound me to this community and to the Boulder valley.

As many of you know, my parents were farmers in the Mission Valley north of Missoula.  I was raised there along with my 8 siblings.  My connection with Boulder started when I was 9 years old — that is the year that my twin brother Georgie moved to MDC and where he lived, on and off, for the next 47 years.

In 1957, my family started making the trip to Boulder many times a year to visit Georgie.  It was not always easy.  It was an expensive trip, and it was hard to leave the farm, but my folks did the best they could to keep us connected to George.

Boulder — it was hard to come here because I always wanted to take Georgie home — but the town itself and MDC, was always welcoming — and gentle, and gracious to my family.  I loved the drug store on Main Street where we would stop in for a coke or milkshake. I loved the drive down the Boulder valley and across pipestone and if we were lucky we would get to stop at the old rock shop on pipestone pass.  These visits were my first introduction to the Boulder valley.  My folks would take us out for a drive and then let Georgie and I got for a walk and in this way I was introduced to McCarty Creek, Brown’s Gulch, to the hot springs, and Depot Hill.

I became George’s guardian in 1973, when my folks became too frail to continue their work as his guardian, and from then on my connections with MDC and Boulder increased.  I would come for annual meetings and the staff at those meetings, some of who are here today, were so welcoming and loving to my family — Bobbi Janacarro, Janie Lewis, Barb Eliot, Jennifer Pryor, Julia Streib, Gladys Jessup, Terri McFadden, Nancy Smallwood, so many of you, in Boulder and in Basin, worked at MDC and you should be so very proud of that work.  Families like mine were in constant turmoil — guilt, emotional stress, confusion, and expense.  MDC offered a solution — I wish Georgie could have stayed at home with my family — that was the one thing I wished for my entire childhood — it was devastating to lose him, but the alternative was you — a community that welcomed families of kids with disabilities and offered services to us all.

When I got a call in 1999, from Dr. Caldwell at MDC, telling me that George was in a slump and that he did not think Georgie would live longer than 6 months, I was galvanized.  I came here, was taken in by friends in Basin, found a place to live and started working closely with MDC.  For the next six months, I spent almost every day at MDC, with George, with staff, looking through his records and taking him for long drives.  He did get better and started being involved again in activities.  Georgie and I took long drives almost every day and I got to know the upper valley road, the lower valley road, Elkhorn, Cataract Creek and Basin Creek.  When MDC  made the decision to move Georgie to Butte to an AWARE group home, I fought that decision.  I was worried about the change and how it would affect him.  But as always, he surprised me and showed such amazing flexibility and he thrived in his group home.

Let me give you a few examples why I love Boulder:

I remember about 15 years ago taking Georgie to the Jefferson County Fair.  It was a beautiful summer morning and I took his hand and walked him over to the carousel.  What was I thinking?!  Within minutes, he had pulled away from me, grabbed a little boy’s cotton candy and made for one of the vendors where he grabbed a pop off the counter and took off.  I yelled “sorry, sorry” and ran after him.  I caught up with him and got him to the car and was trying to figure out how to keep him in the car and get over the vender and the kid who lost his cotton candy.  I was worried someone had called the police.  Instead, the young boy came over to me — in the confusion, I had lost my cap and he brought it to me in the car and said — “that’s ok about the cotton candy.  He can have it.”  And he smiled at Georgie and me.  Someone else, who I didn’t know, walked over and said she had paid for the pop. I will never forget their generosity and kindness..

And then there is Lori Laquerquist who is another one of my heroes.  She was always available, both night and day to talk with me about George’s health.  She would visit him at his group home.  Amanda was one of his nurses when he was on hospice.  Such love and care & commitment.  Boulder is so lucky to have a place like Bear Grass.

And Brud Smith, who helped my folks long before I ever met him — helped them figure out the legal stuff that became so important in the last years of George’s life — in fact, I think the legal work Brud did in 1972 saved Georgie’s life in 2010.

And the amazing staff who would bring George and his housemates over to my café in Basin — such chaos would ensue — I remember one time, I turned around, George was in the kitchen and the next thing I knew, the refrigerator door had fallen off.  I will never know how he did that!  Always there was kindness and care and of course a lot of laughter.

I could go on and on — but let me tell you that my heroes are the folks who committed so many years of their lives caring for the clients at MDC, my heroes are teachers and health care providers and folks who take care of babies and the elderly.  I celebrate you all — and if I get elected to the state legislature — you will be the folks I will look to for guidance.

So — as I said at the beginning — this is a different kind of presentation.  I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you my deep connection with the Boulder valley and why I am so proud to have made it my home.

Letter: Joy Lewis

With all the political divisiveness and negativity these days, it’s refreshing to find a candidate who is willing to listen to all sides of an issue.  Bryher Herak, who is running for House District 75 in Jefferson County is one of the best listeners I know, and she is vying for your vote with lots of positive energy.  She was born and raised in Montana and has lived in Basin for 18 years.

Bryher believes in small business and the strength and unity of our communities.  If we work toward building businesses that support and sustain the working people of our communities, we are many steps closer to living in productive, safe, and healthy communities.

Bryher’s experience as a mediator/facilitator is a big plus toward working across the aisle and getting important issues resolved for our county and state.  It’s time to bring back a healthy dose of civility to all the divisive political rhetoric. Most of us want the same thing but it comes down to how we want to accomplish it.  Can we drop our spirited convictions for a moment and listen?  Bryher Herak can and will do this.

Please vote for Bryher Herak for Jefferson County House District 75 on November 6.

Joy Lewis

Letter: Ann Kuntzweiler

To the Editor,

I have known Bryher Herak for approximately the last twenty years.  Over that time I have witnessed her ability to bring people together at the Basin Artists’ Refuge, at the former High Note café in Basin and in the Boulder community while serving on the Boulder Development Fund Board.

While her resume is long and accomplished I believe her most important qualification for being our representative in HD 75 is her ability to listen. She can hear what is being said and more importantly she can hear and understand what is not being said. Always she aligns herself with kindness and compassion. At the same time, she is firm in her convictions when the situation calls for it.  I hope all voters will join me in support of Bryher Herak for our next representative in House District 75.  Please vote for Bryher Herak at your polling location in the June 5th primary.

Ann Kuntzweiler
300 Lump Gulch Rd.
Clancy, MT 59634

Letter: Joy Lewis

May 21, 2018

Dear Editor,

I recently had an opportunity to hear Steve Andersen, a candidate for Justice of the Peace for Jefferson County, speak in Whitehall.   I was very impressed with his knowledge and breadth of experience and his ability to answer questions in a factual and concise way.  He has been serving as substitute JP, filling in for Dennis Giulio, for the past five years.  Steve will be ready to hit the ground running for this position. He’s been a Logger and a Law Enforcement Officer and currently he practices law in Montana City at Andersen Law Offices.  He will be objective and fair and will uphold the law as Justice of the Peace.  Please join me in voting for Steve Andersen!

An important issue that will be on the June 5th ballot is a 1 mill levy for Jefferson County Search and Rescue. I urge everyone to vote for this mill levy because many volunteers put in countless hours to respond to emergencies throughout our county.  This levy will be split between the North and South end of the county and will help these crews purchase much needed equipment.  Let’s support our Search and Rescue teams by supporting this levy.

Please join me in supporting Bryher Herak for HD 75.  Bryher is an engaged member of our community who will be a sensible voice for the people of Jefferson County.  She will work across the aisle to balance the state budget and help eliminate the gridlock in our State Legislature.  She supports good paying jobs for our county and she’ll work towards helping small businesses thrive throughout our county.  Bryher is also a champion of Public Schools and will work toward providing the best learning experience for the children of Jefferson County.  “Civility, Community, and Common Sense.” Vote for Bryher!

Joy Lewis
PO Box 68
Basin, MT 59631