Jan 31, 2022
I was recently misunderstood and misinterpreted by a local media reporter based on some statements that I made at a recent event. These reports attempt to convey that I suggested Rep. Derek Skees was “wheeling and dealing” his PSC candidacy for a political deal and there would be a price to pay if he didn’t run. Let me be extremely clear, I have never been interviewed by any reporters regarding the intentions or original meaning of my statements before they ran an article attempting to create division between Rep. Skees and myself.
I have only met a few public servants with the integrity of Rep. Derek Skees and any misunderstandings that would lead otherwise are inherently false and misinformed. I am not a politician, and often use colloquialisms that I have used throughout my life as a normal Montanan.
When I referred to “wheeling and dealing” I was referring to the ethical process of compromise and finding ways to negotiate and meet in the middle to find the best path forward for Montana. When I mentioned the “price to pay” I was referring to the extreme cost of us losing a strong conservative champion like Rep. Skees as a candidate for the PSC in a time we need leaders like him more than ever.
Although I clearly could have used better, more clear terminology, no choice of words that I have used were ever intended to suggest that Rep. Skees was doing anything other than putting his constituents and values first. There has absolutely never been a situation where his ethics, integrity, nor intent on doing what is right has been called into question in my mind. We would be very blessed and fortunate to have him as a Public Service Commissioner.
I offer my sincere apology to Rep. Skees.
(Editor’s Note) This article was submitted by Representative Lola Sheldon Galloway to be published by Montana Daily Gazette.