HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia who became the first black mayor of any city in Montana, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Steve Daines.
Collins filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission before a public announcement Monday. He is the first candidate to challenge Daines, a first-term Republican.
Collins defeated four-term Helena Mayor Jim Smith in 2017 for the non-partisan, part-time mayor’s office. He campaigned for affordable housing, addressing homelessness among military veterans and teens, and increased staffing for police and fire departments.
His election made national news and was featured on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
Collins and his wife, Maddie, moved to Helena in the early 1990s to escape civil war in Liberia. He is a child protection specialist for the state health department.