Replacing Rosendale


Steve Held, Democratic candidate for Montana's eastern U.S. House seat

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Posted at 9:00 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 14:02:17-04

BILLINGS — Steve Held says he had never registered with any political party before deciding to make a run as a Democrat in this race for Montana’s 2nd Congressional District.

(Watch: MTN's profile on Steve Held)

Steve Held, Democratic candidate for Montana's eastern U.S. House seat

He says it was outgoing Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale’s stance on a couple of issues that spurred that decision.

“The farm bill that Rosendale wouldn’t sign and the border bill. That’s been going back and forth for a long time-- it’s been the number one issue of Republicans forever. The Democrats finally came over, gave 90 percent of what the Republicans wanted, and Rosendale won’t sign it,” he says.

Held says he recently visited the southern border to see the situation himself and found a much different picture than the visuals most often seen on television news.

“We do have a border problem, but It doesn’t need to be the political mess that it is. So, when people are manipulating it just to make it a political issue when they could solve it-- that is a problem,” he says.

Held believes Montanans, no matter what their party, have a lot in common and says he has always tried to keep an open mind.

“I’ve written to Steve Daines, I’ve written to Jon Tester. I wrote to both of them a lot. And the primary thing I said over and over is I want to see both of your names on legislation. I was always so proud of my Montana politics. The purple in this state. We kicked out Copper Kings. We elected the first woman to congress. Those are amazing things,” he says.

A fourth generation Montanan, Held grew up in Broadus and worked in his family’s motel as well as on ranches in the area.

“When I was in high school my mom asked me what do you want to do? I said, well I want to be a rancher or an actor. She said you better be an actor because we don’t have enough money to buy a ranch,” he says.

Held would accomplish both. He became a member of the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors while his in 20’s and appeared in a number of parts including a 1997 Super Bowl commercial with Jack Palance for Ford f-150 trucks.

“I went away and did that until I had enough money and bought my own ranch. Bringing my kids back to be raised next to Grandma is the best decision I’ve ever made,” he says.

Steve Held

Held is married with two adult children. His daughter Rikki is one of the young climate advocates who sued the state of Montana in a landmark case and won.

Held believes more should be done to combat climate change.

“During the Trump administration 67 percent of Americans believed that government should do something to stop climate change—during the Trump administration. That’s a super majority. That means the people want it to happen. It’s the people making money off it not happening,” he says.

Held says he supports gun rights as well as a woman’s right to choose.

“That’s a tough one and I’m glad I’ve never had to be faced with that as a man and all but to me it is an issue of our constitution, of privacy, and our freedom.”

Despite the differences, Held believes there is still a lot of purple in Montana.

“Most Montanans agree on most parts of most issues and I’m in the center of all that. What I can say to you Democrats and Republicans and people of every color and creed and every mother’s child is that our Montana will be safe with me,” Held says.

Held is one of 12 candidates, including four Democrats, seeking nomination for the eastern district U.S. House seat. You can find interviews with all of them here.