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Rayelynn Brandl becomes third candidate in race for Butte chief executive

Rayelynn Brandl
Posted at 7:45 PM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 16:13:34-05

BUTTE — A third candidate entered the race for Butte-Silver Bow County Chief Executive, and she says she knows that challenging an incumbent for their seat is going to be difficult but she’s up for the fight.

“People keep asking me if I’m ready for this job, if I’m tough enough to take it, and I can do hard things. In fact, I have a professional boxing record. I’m 2-and-0 undefeated,” says Rayelynn Brandl after filing her paperwork on Jan. 30.

Brandl is no stranger to the Mining City. Not only was she born and raised in Butte but she also raised a family in the historic mining town. You could also argue that she’s raised a legion of young scientists, too.

For the past 15 years, Brandl has been the executive director of the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program, a nonprofit that focuses on place-based environmental education for students, teachers, and the general public. The nonprofit is based in Butte but it has a statewide reach and to date, the program has garnered 22 national awards for its work.

Brandl says her work with CFWEP has given her an intimate knowledge of Butte's Superfund issues and she believes she is the most qualified to deal with the issue that has been looming over the Mining City for far too long.

“We have to get Superfund in the rearview mirror. We have too long been the leftover, left-out Superfund community. It’s time to be the community of innovation and inspiration.” says Brandl. “We need to deliver on Superfund. I am by far the most qualified and experienced candidate in the race with regard to Superfund.”

Brandl says she’ll focus on four things if she lands the chief executive position. The first thing she says she’ll do is create an approachable government that is open, accessible, and transparent. Her second goal is to build an innovation economy that allows for Butte children to build careers and stay in Butte. She also wants to bring the county government and private sector workers together. Her fourth goal is to deliver on Superfund.

“I love everything that’s quirky and cool about our community and I want our kids to be able to stay here and make careers here,” says Brandl. “We also have everything we need to lead an innovation economy so it’s just time to get it together and do that. We just need a common focus and to come together to make that happen.”