RAISED ON THE LAND
Wicks farms and runs cattle on the ranch his grandfather started in 1913. Together with his four children and wife, he keeps the family land producing and well cared for. He hopes to leave it better than he found it for the next generation to enjoy and prosper on. He hopes his heirs will know the joy of seeing day-old calves running together for the first time, lambs struggling to take their first drink of milk, watching a harvest of wheat fill the hopper, and the boundless hope that arrives with spring as the first grass gives promise another year after a long winter.
Working the land has given Wicks the ability to problem solve and the fortitude that will serve him well as Montana’s U.S. congressman.
BREADTH OF EXPERIENCE
AVIATION TO ARMY RESERVES.
From fixing tractors to speaking Swedish, Wicks has pursued the kind of life that keeps him always challenged, always reaching, always curious.
It began with history, Wicks’ passion in high school, a passion that earned him a scholarship to Montana State University, Bozeman. He narrowed that focus to the history of aviation, then moved to a college in Oregon to study Aviation Technology Maintenance, with a stint in Sweden. In 1991, Wicks joined the Army Reserves, where he served for two years before being diagnosed with a degenerative eye disorder.
His eyesight issues brought him back to the family ranch he’d been raised on. With a growing family and the typical ranching highs and lows, Mark eagerly (almost?), took on a plethora of jobs to keep his family and the land flourishing. He roughnecked on Bakken drilling rigs, drove propane trucks, owned gift shops, sold the family produce at farmers’ markets, and authored a novel, Wrath of the Dodo, which takes a heartbreaking and celebratory look at the the family farm in a distopia setting.
You can’t buy the breadth of knowledge and experience that Wicks’ life has given him and that will serve him well as Montana’s representative to Congress.
Four children and a wife of 21-years. In today’s world, this is almost a miracle and a testament to Wicks’ loyalty to family. But for Wicks, supporting and raising his family, is about much more.
He’s honed empathy…the ability to look at issues and events from other people’s perspective, to get inside their heads and beyond the name calling that passes for discussion today.
He’s honed his ability to listen…really listen, not just to what people are saying, but what they aren’t, and what they need, their fears and desires.
He’s honed his sense of joy. “Nothing,” Wicks says, “can fill a man with joy as much as seeing your children and your wife, laughing, happy, opening their arms to you.”
How does this bear on the job of a U.S. congressman? Some would say it doesn’t. Wicks says that family not only provides the support leaders need, but grounds them and teaches wisdom, patience, and insight.
Running for office as a Libertarian is an uphill battle. But we live in the state that one hundred years ago made history and elected Janette Rankin, the nation’s very first congresswoman, to Washington. Montanans have the individualism and the courage to make history again and send the first Libertarian to Washington.
Neither major political party is willing to set aside party loyalty to solve problems, choosing to fight each other and settle for band-aid approaches to complex problems or kick the can down the road for our children to deal with.
“Even though we often elect good people from Montana,” Wicks says, “they come with party strings attached. We don’t need another puppet from Montana. We have elected D’s and R’s over and over and nothing changes. We shouldn’t expect change if we keep sending the same cookie cutter candidates to represent us. I guarantee you I won’t fit anyone’s mold of what a politician should be.
“I will be a statesman in a sea of politicians, a lighthouse in the fog of politics, and with your support, I will be the next Libertarian congressman from Montana.”