Ellie Hill has been a staple in the Missoula and Montana political scene for many years, and after having taken a break due to terming out in the Montana Legislature, has now declared a run for the State Senate.

“State Senator Dick Barrett has termed out, so I’m hopefully going to continue representing my constituents who brought me here for the last eight years and my name will be on the ballot for 2020,” said Hill who is running in Senate District 45. Hill, who proudly bears the label of activist, said she relishes the role. “The Missoula Independent, may it rest in peace, the readers for about 12 years in a row voted me Missoula’s best activist. So, I want to shine a light on the spirit of Missoula and on Friday night we held a rally downtown where several local bands and artists performed their favorite ‘activist’ songs.”

Hill said she was definitely not ready to throw in the political towel, just because she had termed out of the Montana House of Representatives.

“In Montana, we can do eight years at a time in either body, so I waited out a session and now that my little boy is starting kindergarten so now that allows me to stay in my lane and continue to represent my own district,” she said. “I just feel like my work’s not done and 2020’s going to be a big year. We have everyone from the President of the United States to a U.S. Senator to a governor. We’re looking for Democrats to pick up quite a few seats and as I’ve told you before, I hope to serve in that Capitol until I get to serve in the majority party,” she laughed.

Hill responded to the question, ‘can only Democrats be activists’?

“Some of my best buddies are on the other side if the aisle and they are also activists, because as I jokingly say, ‘I’m so far left I’m right’, she said. “There’s a lot of intersecting between us rugged individualists and there’s a bit of a Libertarian streak in a lot of folks on the other side. That’s why I like being on your show (Talk Back) because you guys are always very passionate and care as much as I do about making a better life for the folks around us,” she said.

The Montana Legislature has been dominated by Republicans for many years, however in the last session several members of the GOP joined the ‘Solutions Caucus’ to force several spending bills through the session  that were not supported by more traditional Republicans.