A while back I grabbed a cigar with Greg Franks at the Summit Cigar Lounge in Billings. Former State Senator John Brenden out of Scobey, Montana was in town and we had a great chat talking Montana political history, the 2024 US Senate race, and a potentially divisive Republican primary for the US House.

We had a great chat talking about Frank Whetstone and the Reagan Western Revolution, and how a man from small town Montana helped organize the Reagan presidential campaign in the West. We also talked about the last time Montana had two members of the US House of Representatives before losing a seat in the early 1990's.

After our cigar, we thought- we need to record this for a podcast so we can share this Montana history with other folks across the state. So, just before Christmas, we did just that. We aired the first couple hours of the chat for a New Year's Day radio special. Later this week, I'll share our extended audio since we kept going after cutting the two hour radio show.

Who was Frank Whetstone?

Whetstone was the newspaper publisher for the Cut Bank Pioneer Press in Cut Bank, Montana. As Greg Franks tells it (he worked for former Montana Congressman Ron Marlenee back in the day), Whetstone was part of a group that was organizing throughout the Western United States, county by county, precinct by precinct to get Ronald Reagan on the ballot as the Republican Presidential candidate.

Greg Franks: Frank organized the entire Western US. And in fact, Frank would travel all over the place. He'd fly to California, land at the airport there- guess who would pick him up at the airport? John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart. Frank's influence was tremendous.


What about the 2024 US Senate race? Here's the full audio of our chat with John Brenden and Greg Franks. 



*Note: Here's Frank Whetstone referenced in the NY Times. Plus, here is "Reagan Remembered in Cut Bank" by the Pioneer Press.


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