Age, birthplace: 60, El Cerrito, Calif.
Where she's from: Lives in Billings. Grew up in El Cerrito, a suburb of Oakland; moved to Montana in 1992.
Occupation: Workforce development and training coordinator, Montana State University Billings
Highest education degree: Master's degree in regional planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., 1975
Political experience: State senator from Billings since 2005; state representative 1997-2004
Campaign website: www.gillanforcongress.com
What separates you from your opponents in the Democratic primary election?
I have an established track record of solving problems to make a difference for Montana families. By bringing folks together, I've passed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover autism and diabetes treatments, established workforce training programs for small businesses, enhanced community safety and promoted tax fairness for homeowners.
I've been a Democratic leader in the Legislature for 16 years, I work full-time as a job-training specialist, and I have a 20-year background in economic and energy development. My experience would bring a better approach and perspective to Congress: One that listens first, works harder, and focuses on making a difference for Montana's working families.
What are your top three priorities, if elected?
1. Job creation and job training: Concentrate on ways to develop good-paying jobs in Montana, while making sure workers and young people have the skills and education needed to successfully compete in today's global economy.
2. Tax fairness for working families: We need targeted tax cuts that benefit working families first. Congress should also end special-interest tax policies that ignore the needs of our small businesses over big corporations.
3. New energy development: We need to invest in energy policies that take a responsible and balanced approach to harness the potential for traditional and renewable energy development, which will create good-paying, 21st century energy jobs in Montana, and produce affordable and clean American energy for the long term.
What specific steps will you support/propose to help reduce the federal debt?
Montana has demonstrated how you balance a budget: Maintain responsible reserves, cut taxes, and still fund critical priorities like education, job training, health care and economic development. I'll take that approach to Congress, work to rebuild the budget from the ground up, and let Montana common sense replace Washington gridlock.