Nov 12, 2019
Simms rancher and U.S. House candidate Matt Rains says his military service, diverse career arc, and global travels give him a unique vantage from which to address challenges facing Montana and the country at large.
Asked whether he could work on those issues from a seat in the state Legislature, Rains — who has no prior legislative experience — says he was advised by state Democratic leadership that he would make a compelling candidate in the U.S. House race. “My voice, I feel, is absolutely best utilized at the national scale,” he says.
A former West Point cadet who flew Black Hawk helicopters in South Korea and Iraq, Rains later traveled the world as a photographer, documenting humanitarian crises in Kenya, Afghanistan, and Myanmar. After returning to the U.S., he put his engineering degree to use inspecting coal and gas plants for a national energy company.
Rains returned to Montana in 2018 to help his mother run the family ranch. When Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte announced he would seek the governorship instead of running for re-election to Montana’s sole U.S. House seat, Rains said, he saw an opportunity to put his professional experiences to use in congress.
As a Montana native who grew up watching his parents raise quarter horses and cattle, Rains says the primary reason he’s running for congress is to help ensure that farming and ranching remain viable options for future generations of Montanans. “We have to find a way to make sure that ranchers and farmers can prosper on the ranch, otherwise rural Montana’s going to just vanish,” he tells Adams.