Local Democrat Committee Organizes Support for “Republican” Rep. Joel Krautter


Joel Krautter (R-Sidney) is arguably the most liberal Republican in the Montana legislature, with an F-rating from Legistats in party loyalty and crossed over to vote with Democrats an amazing 213 times in the last session. He is opposed by all neighboring Republican legislators, his own state senator, numerous pro-life and pro-gun advocates, and the entire conservative caucus in the House of Representatives known as the .38 Special.

However, it’s eye-opening to see who is going out of their way to actively support Krautter in his home district. A coordinated blitzkrieg of letters was sent to local newspapers in support of the crossover party candidate. However, upon inspection, they were being sent by precinct committee women of the local Richland County Democratic Central Committee.

Cara Lokken-Frandsen wrote to the Round-Up newspaper, “I am a Democrat and I know a Republican when I see one. Joel is a Republican friend of mine, as are many other Republicans in this community. The smear campaign that the Ler camp is attempting is less than graceful.”

It is unknown what “smear campaign” Frandsen was referring to, as the billboard expressing Krautter’s pro-choice voting record was put up by Doctors for a Healthy Montana, an Independent Political Committee that is not permitted by law to coordinate with candidates. Nonetheless, Frandsen serves on the Democrat Central Committee in Richland County (see below).

Another Democrat official also wrote in support of Krautter.

Janet Martineau wrote to the Round Up, “In response to Brad Tschida’s editorial comments on House Representative Joel Krautter’s voting record, I as a Montana’ taxpayer and voter the past 44 years, did some research.”

She then defended Krautter against arguments made against him by Republican House Majority Leader, Brad Tschida. Janet Marineau is the Secretary of the Richland County Democratic Central Committee.

Also writing into the Round Up to defend Krautter was Linda Simonson, who voiced opposition to have Richland County Commissioners declare the sanctity of life for the unborn at a town hall meeting at the county extension office on January 20. Simonson occasionally calls herself a Republican when convenient, but is a trustworthy supporter of Democrats during each election cycle.

Simonson also claimed that Krautter was a part of a “pro-life” church, of which she refers to Bible Baptist Church in Sidney. However, church members at Bible Baptist report to the Montana Daily Gazette that Krautter is hardly, if ever, to be found there on Sunday. Krautter frequents other churches during election season as a part of his campaigning but is not a faithful church member anywhere in Richland County.

Why Joel Krautter is running on the Republican ticket when his staunchest supporters are Democrats, no one can fully know, but it certainly speaks to his personal character.


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  1. Many of my republican friends are supporting Joel. He is willing to reach out directly to his constituents when he needs advise on his votes. He knows who can give him solid information on schools, ag, business and just about anything under the sun. His accomplishments in the last session were great. I saw NO need for a primary opponent for this seat. I am certain the majority of our community agrees with me.

    There are worse things than being able to work across party lines and listen to multiple perspectives before voting. That is what I plan on doing when I run for office.

    I did mistakenly assume that the Ler campaign was behind the push to “out Joel as a Democrat”. By no means did I need a phone call from Ler’s wife. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If we want someone who will stand behind his constituents and speak for himself we need Joel back in.

    For the record Joel did not vote the way I wanted him to, on many occasions. We respect each other enough to talk about things and agree to disagree. This is how politics should be.

    I now step down from my soap box.
    Cara Lokken-Frandsen

    I pray for grace in our politics again


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