Dear Editor:

I attended the scheduled/cancelled/rescheduled Choteau Republican Shrimp Peel last Saturday. It was successful beyond measure with excellent speeches from passionate, knowledgeable candidates.

However, I was surprised and saddened to learn that the local incumbent legislators not only failed to attend, but used intimidation tactics to keep others from attending. Freedom to assemble, associate and speak freely is one of our most precious rights.

Thankfully, in America, the right to a vote by secret ballot is not subject to the bully tactics of some government officials.

Thank you, Choteau, for your hospitality and to the candidates who spoke for their courage and conviction.

Sincerely,

Montana Rep. Nancy Ballance (R) Hamilton