Montana Politics

Rob Quist on the Issues

Written by Nathan Kosted

From newly crowned Democratic Congressional Candidate Rob Quist.

“We can never be free until we lift all of humanity. We can’t exclude anyone. It has to be inclusive.”


Rob Quist will be an independent voice for Montana in the United States Congress. He believes that in Montana, you shouldn’t have to be a millionaire to hunt, fish and hike in our great outdoors, get a good education, or be able to support your family. As a small businessman, award-winning songwriter, and entrepreneur, Rob will fight to help hard-working Montana families get ahead, defend our public lands and stream access rights, and strengthen our public schools, not privatize them.


Growing up on a ranch north of Cut Bank, MT, where his family still lives, Rob’s parents instilled in him the values of rural Montana–the joy of hard work, the importance of family and caring for the community. Rob will bring those values with him to Washington, D.C. as Montana’s next congressman.

Rob graduated from Cut Bank High school as Student Body President and co-captain of the State Championship Class B basketball team and went on to play basketball for the University of Montana. At the University of Montana, he co-founded the Mission Mountain Wood Band and toured nationwide for 12 years, performing at colleges and concert venues across the country and charting original songs on Billboard’s top 100 songs. In 1979 he married Bonni Willows Quist. Rob and Bonni settled down on a horse ranch in Creston where they raised their children, Guthrie and Halladay.

Rob knows firsthand the challenges faced by Montana’s small business owners. He founded RQGN headquarters in Kalispell–a small business that provided employment for up to 15 Montanans at any given time.

Throughout his career, Rob has gotten to know Montanans of all stripes– from Libby to Ekalaka and everywhere in between. He is driven by the desire to improve the lives of everyday Montanans and make sure Montana remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Rob was appointed by two governors to serve three terms as a member of the Montana Arts Council. He also developed an anti-bullying seminar that he has performed for schools across the state. Rob was chosen by the Montana Department of Commerce as the state’s cultural ambassador and visited Japan several times in that capacity. He has also served as spokesman and fundraiser for the Montana Food Bank Network, where Bonni, Guthrie and Halladay have volunteered for years.

Throughout his career, Rob has remained dedicated to helping create healthy Native American communities and creating a message of cooperation between cultures, co-producing “Western Harmony” with Blackfeet writer and entertainer Jack Gladstone and later the “Odyssey West” program in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery bicentennial commemoration.

Rob continues to appear with his band Rob Quist and Great Northern as well as Mission Mountain Wood Band. Rob previously served on the board of the Montana Arts Council, working with the Office of Public Instruction on school programs. Bonni was a teacher in the Flathead school system for five years and served on the board of the Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center promoting outdoor activities for Montana kids. Rob and Halladay were commissioned to write seven songs based on Native American Oral Traditions as part of the Indian Education For All program.



Born and raised on the Quist family ranch in Cut Bank, Rob learned that nothing gets done without hard work and commitment. In Congress he’ll fight for Montana families by working to invest in infrastructure and Montana’s manufacturing industry and reform the tax code so that it works for small business owners and rural communities.

Montana stands out among all other states when it comes to entrepreneurial spirit. Rob will work to bolster our thriving small businesses and hard-working families by investing in Montana’s universities, cutting unnecessary red tape and continuing to build up Montana’s high tech industry.

Public lands

Rob is a lifelong outdoorsman who opposes any attempts to transfer Montana’s public lands to private hands. He believes public lands are our state’s single greatest asset, and must be protected for future generations.

Farmers and Ranchers

As the son of a Montana rancher and dry land wheat farmer, Rob knows first-hand that agriculture is the backbone of our economy– with nearly 28,000 farms and ranches across the state. Rob will be a strong voice for ag in Washington, D.C, working to advance agriculture by investing in technology and product marketing, and scrutinizing trade agreements.

He will work across the aisle to ensure that American farmers and ranchers are getting paid competitive prices in every trade agreement.

Tax Reform

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Rob understands the burden of an unfair tax system that makes it harder for small business owners to thrive. He will make tax reform a priority, working to close tax loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and rewriting the tax code to support Montana’s small businesses, workers and families.

Social Security and Health Care

Rob stands with seniors and will protect Social Security and Medicare. Seniors have worked hard and paid into these systems for their entire lives– and should never have to worry about losing these crucial programs.


Rob supports an energy plan made for Montana and written by Montanans. He understands the importance of developing a comprehensive energy plan that utilizes Montana’s natural resources while exploring new energy technologies that will put Montana on the cutting edge and serve the needs of all Montanans.

Timber Industry

Rob will fight for the development of and investment in Montana’s timber industry to preserve timber jobs. He will explore innovative ideas to harvest beetle kill areas and use those resources to help improve infrastructure projects in our communities.


The sacrifice made by our veterans can never be fully repaid. Rob will demand that veterans receive access to quality and efficient health care.

Veterans face cumbersome red tape as they transition back to the workforce– and Rob will work to streamline the job process for veterans and incentivize businesses to hire veterans.


It is unacceptable that students who come out of college face crippling debt and high interest loans, which take decades to repay. Rob will fight for Montana’s students and working families who face challenges due to high tuition costs.

He supports legislation that will streamline the student loan process and cap interest rates for student loans at a maximum of 3%. Rob will work to expand dual enrollment that will allow high school students to receive college credit, and will work to create more opportunity for students to receive loan forgiveness after serving in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps.

Public Education

Rob believes public education is the bedrock of investing in our children’s future. His wife, Bonni, worked five years as an English teacher in Kalispell where teachers’ starting pay is lower than most school systems in the nation.

Rob opposes any legislation that attempts to take away funding from our public schools in order to direct it toward private schools. He will fight to expand investment in Montana’s public schools and teachers.

Women’s Choice

Rob believes women should have the right and freedom to make their own healthcare decisions without government intrusion. He stands against the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which provides vital health care services to thousands of Montana women.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Rob supports equal pay for equal work. He will work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and support initiatives that close the wage gap.

Freedom to Marry and Non-discrimination

Rob Quist believes the government should not be involved in people’s personal lives, and that everyone has a right to love and marry whoever they choose.

Native American Rights

Growing up near an Indian reservation, Rob understands the importance of working with Montana’s Tribes. He believes in Tribal Sovereignty and the right of self-determination for all Native Peoples.

Citizens United

Rob believes there is too much money in politics and supports an amendment to overturn Citizens United. He believes, like the majority of Montanans, that corporations are not people and should not be allowed to influence our elections.

The Arts

Rob supports preserving the arts in our education system and supports artists and musicians, who have chosen the creative path in the world.

“Stand with me Montana and I will stand up for you.”

About the author

Nathan Kosted


  • Farmers? Really? That big’a deal for Rob is it? Grapes of Wrath time? Now all we need is Ma to campaign for him! Praise Vitory!

    Guns? He still want to register’em? Pretty dumb! He must be from Cut Bank, California!

    But like ALL real Dems, I want to know is he gay friendly! Heck why I’d give up my SS for the gay! In fact, it appears I am! For that’s all that really matters.

    • Get a grip on reality. Rob has it. You are hanging out in a right-wing fantasy generated by paranoia and resentment. It is not healthy for your soul, and it isn’t good for Montana.

  • You all realize that Quist isn’t a Cowboy. Its just part of his act. The hat, red scarf and cowboy dress are just a costume he wears when he is performing. He doesn’t even own land in Montana.

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