Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams may be running her first campaign for public office, but she’s no political neophyte. Her father, Pat Williams, served two terms in the Montana House, and nine in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her mother, Carol Williams, was the first woman majority leader in the Montana Senate.
Williams started her own career in the White House, where she worked in the office of First Lady Hillary Clinton, before launching a philanthropic consulting business that works with governments, NGOs, and Fortune 500 companies. Williams positions herself as a job creator and problem solver in her bid to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
Williams is in a two-way primary with Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. Asked to draw a distinction between herself and Cooney, Williams tells Montana Free Press editor-in-chief John S. Adams that voters, “[are] going to have a choice of someone who is a little different, someone who’s a business person, who has a fresh perspective, who has a skill set managing multimillion-dollar budgets, creating companies, creating jobs.”
At a recent candidate forum in Bozeman, Williams and Cooney staked out similar policy positions, including publicly funded pre-K, protection of public lands, and affordability of prescription drugs. In her interview with Adams, Williams expands on the initiatives she would pursue if elected to office, including strategies to cap prescription drug prices.
“Forty percent of Montanans say they choose between putting food on the table and filling a prescription,” Williams said. “Montanans are, I think, fed up with this idea that the federal government is going to solve this problem for us, because they’re not.”