Delegating Denver #30 of 56: Montana

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Total Number of Delegates: 24 Pledged: 16 Unpledged: 8

How to Recognize a Montana Delegate: Residents of the Treasure State think that their Last Best Place isthe Jewel of the Lower 48. On average, there are only seven Montanans per square mile of Big Sky Country, and despite being surrounded by all that space and scenic splendor, none of them get along. At first it seems that they are timid, or maybe just a bit cranky. But the truth is, Montanans don't much like people. Especially uninvited guests. You'd think that being bordered by Idaho, Wyoming and North Dakota would be enough to keep people away. It does keep out the working poor, but it doesn't stop the trustafarians and the rich. Zillionaires fly in on private jets and buy huge tracts of land to build their get-away compounds, then put up "No Trespassing" signs and complain about the quality of wines served at the annual Testicle Festival. What's a Montanan to do? With one of the lowest per capita incomes and the highest per capita gun ownership in the country, their "Montana Values" are quickly exploited by politicians and made into public policy. Which perfectly explains the nuance of the state's latest tourism ad campaign: "Montana Sucks. Go Tell All Your Friends." At the Denver convention, the "tell" for Montana delegates will be their vintage fashions. Females prefer to wear clothing from the Carter era, while males all dress like extras from the set of High Chapparal. Montanans will be the delegates who are ignoring you — but don't think of them as snobs. After all, they’re not judging you; they're merely trying to imagine that you don't exist at all.

Famous Montanans: Ancient actors Myrna "Mrs. Thin Man" Loy, Martha "Big Mouth" Raye, Gary “High Noon” Cooper; motorcycle daredevil Evil Knievel; filmmaking daredevil David Lynch; Oregon D.I.Y. art daredevil Brad Adkins; Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament; Decembrists lead singer Colin Meloy; church lady Dana Carvey.

Famous Montana Democrats: Longest-serving majority leader in the U.S. Senate Mike Mansfield; the only person ever to be designated the “permanent acting president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate” Lee Metcalf; former congressman Pat "Mr. Carol" Williams; current senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester.

Famous Montanans With Denver Connections: Former Duffy's owners Ken and Frank Lombardi; Ready-Temp boss man Jim Hannifin; American Furniture chairman Jake Jabs; KBCO morning showman Bret Saunders; Aurora cowboy bluesman Steve Traycee; Ralphie the Buffalo.

State Nickname: The Treasure State, Big Sky Country, The Last Best Place (official); The Superfund State, Land of Celebrity Viewsheds, Montucky (unofficial) Population: 944,632 Racial Distribution: 90% white, 0.4% black, 0.6% Asian, 6.4% Native American, 2.6% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $25,929 Unemployment: 4.7%


Most Montanan Denver Neighborhood: Cory-Merrill

Most Montanan Bar: Lion's Lair 2022 East Colfax Avenue Live music for the soulful Triumphant Universalist with the heart of a survivalist.

Most Montanan Restaurant: Rocky Mountain Diner 800 18th Street All the favorite foods of Montana , minus the deep-fried bulls' balls.

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Best Day Trip: Light Rail to Historic Downtown Littleton

Colorado's landscape is almost the same as Montana's, only with seven times as many people. Any Montanan taking a summer day trip into Colorado's Front Range will only be annoyed by all the Justin Timberlake and Faith Hill clones driving their Lexus SUVs while yakking on cell phones in high-country gridlock traffic. For a more civilized excursion, and a chance to enjoy things that are not even available in Montana, take a bike-n-ride light-rail trip to historic downtown Littleton. From your delegation hotel at the Courtyard Stapleton, board the #44 bus and head into town. Ask the bus driver for a transfer; you'll need it when you get off the bus at the 16th Street Mall to get on the "D Line" to Littleton. The light-rail line follows the South Platte River both upstream and back through history. Once lined with industry, its banks are now being redeveloped into parks and mixed-use housing. The Evans Street Station sits directly over what was once Montana City, the first Anglo settlement in Colorado. It was founded by a group of Kansans in 1857, a year before Denver was established, and quickly abandoned thereafter. Littleton got its start in 1862, when New Hampshirite Richard S. Little built his farm and flour mill and platted out his town. A rich rural history guarantees that everything here was built with loving hands. And since that time, loving pocketbooks have kept the place alive and in great condition. It's a great spot to eat, drink (try McKinner's Pizza Bar at 2389 West Main Street), shop and look at art. Or rent a bike at Littleton Cyclery (1500 West Littleton Boulevard) and continue to follow the South Platte River bike trail up into the foothills. You’ll never look at Colorado the same again. — Kenny Be

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Sean Cronin