MISSOULA, Mont. - Former Montana Representative Pat Williams is breaking his silence this primary election season and endorsing a Democratic candidate.
Williams held Montana's sole U.S. House seat from 1979 to 1997.
Since leaving Congress he's stayed involved in politics but has never formally endorsed a candidate until now.
Thursday, Williams announced he's supporting Democrat John Lewis in the primary election for U.S. House of Representatives seat.
"Members of Congress don't get along well anymore. They did almost the entire time that I was there, nine terms," Williams said. "I think that John Lewis is in a position because he's such a cooperative, friendly, listening guy, to help. Each little bit helps, to help change that in congress and set a new more friendly mood there."
Lewis issued the following statement Thursday:
"Congressman Williams is a champion for Montana's working families, our outdoor heritage and education. I'm humbled to have earned the support of someone who dedicated his life to public service and knew how to bring people together to deliver for Montana. This is another great milestone in the momentum we're gaining among folks statewide who are tired of the dysfunction in Washington and want to see people working together on responsible solutions to reduce our debt, increase jobs and protect Medicare."
In addition to Williams, Lewis has been endorsed by Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Montana Governor Steve Bullock.
Other former Montana politicians are endorsing candidates as well. Former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns endorsed Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke.
Former U.S. Representative Rick Hill endorsed Republican U.S. House candidate Elsie Arntzen.