Forrest was born and raised in Columbus, where he still lives. He is a husband, father to three young children, and a small business owner.
In 2014 Forrest was elected to serve the people of House District 57 (Stillwater and Eastern Sweet Grass Counties). He has chaired the House State Administration Committee the last two sessions. This Committee hears bills on election law, as well as bills relating to campaign finance, public employee retirement systems and benefits, public contracts, military affairs and veterans issues, and state buildings. This experience has given Forrest a depth of knowledge and understanding of these issues. His leadership and fairness as Chair of the Committee is admired by members of both parties, lobbyists, and members of the public.
He has repeatedly carried legislation to ensure access to voting, to improve efficiency and communication with the public in government agencies, and to encourage responsible natural resource development. He has a reputation for working with all stakeholders to reach consensus on complicated issues.
Forrest is also in his third interim serving on the State Administration and Veterans’ Affairs Interim Committee, which studies and maintains oversight of election issues, pensions, veterans’ affairs, and other agencies. One of the Committee’s main study areas is accessibility for disabled electors, a study authorized by one of Rep. Mandeville’s bills.
Forrest is running to continue working for the people of Montana on issues important to them. As a strong advocate for secure and accessible elections, ensuring a friendly business climate, and protecting Montana jobs through the responsible development of natural resources, he is ideally suited to serve as Secretary of State.
Forrest will work to balance security of elections with accessibility. He believes all eligible Montanans have the right to vote and will tirelessly protect that right. Forrest has worked with legislators from both parties on this issue, and carried a bill last session to investigate barriers to voting for disabled individuals. At the same time Forrest is a fierce protector of the security of our elections, and supports measures to ensure security of our election system.
Forrest will ensure that businesses can easily navigate the requirements for registration and ensure a high level of customer service. Forrest will ensure that filing requirements are not a barrier to entry into business. As a small business owner he knows first hand some of the challenges to starting a new business.
In the legislature Forrest represented an area with a rich history of natural resource development. He worked with counties and industry to ensure counties and school districts are protected in case of a mine closure or workforce reduction. Forrest understands that resource development brings jobs, revenue, and vitality to our communities, and as a member of the land board will support and protect the responsible use of our State's resources.
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