Wilmot Collins

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Wilmot Collins

Wilmot Collins is a Helena Montana activist. Collins fled his native Liberia for Helena in 1994, as a refugee from the First Liberian Civil War.He had petitioned for refugee status to join his wife, who had moved to Montana two years before he did. He subsequently became a United States citizen, and worked for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in child protection. For two decades, he has been a member of the United States Navy Reserve. Collins has two children with his wife, their daughter, Jaymie and their son, Bliss. Wilmot Collins is first cousins with Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, Helene Cooper.


Wilmot Collins holds a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology, a master's degree in human resources management and has completed coursework for a doctorate in forensic psychology.[1]

Senate fans

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester called Collins on election night, and that was just the beginning.

“I didn’t know how big it was until my son brought tweets from Kamala Harris and senators up on his phone,” Collins said. “This is bigger than I thought.”[2]

"Progressive slate" friends


Helena Democratic Socialists of America November 8, 2017 ·

Congratulations to our "progressive slate" friends: Wilmot Collins for Mayor, Heather O’Loughlin and Andres Haladay for their impressive victory yesterday. Unity makes us stronger. Onward to a new city.

Helena "progressives"

In November 2017, in the Montana capital of Helena, progressives swept the races for city commission and elected Wilmot Collins as the first black mayor in the state’s history*.

Collins, who arrived in Helena 23 years ago as a refugee from the civil war in Liberia, unseated 16-year incumbent Jim Smith. Collins, a child protection specialist for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, and a master’s degree in human resources management. His mayoral platform included addressing teen and veteran homelessness in Helena, ensuring access to clean water and pushing a return to community policing.

Collins joined with incumbent city commissioner Andres Haladay and commission candidate Heather O’Loughlin, director of the nonprofit Montana Budget and Policy Center, to form a “progressive ticket.” All three won in tight races, sweeping the municipal elections in Helena.

Many who know Montana as more than a red patch on an electoral college map weren’t surprised by the progressive sweep. Frank Kromkowski, an activist with Our Revolution-Helena and the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America , points out that voters in Lewis and Clark County, of which Helena is the seat, favored Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. Sanders also won the state by more than six percentage points.

“Here in Helena, Bernie Sanders was really big,” says Kromkowski. Since the 2016 election, groups like Our Revolution and DSA have dramatically swelled their ranks and spawned local chapters in nearly every U.S. state. According to Our Revolution board chair Larry Cohen, the organization’s email list for Montana boasts 20,000 names. Neither Our Revolution nor DSA officially endorsed any candidates, but they did co-sponsor a forum with the progressive candidates and Kromkowski thinks many individual members supported the campaigns.

Meeting Cornel West

Wilmot Collins for Senate November 27, 2017 with Cornel West:


Excited to be here in Boston with Maddie for the Harvard Institute of Politics, Newly Elected Mayors seminar! Check back here throughout the week for updates on the conference!

Helena Supports Heenan

Join us at our community fundraiser to support John Heenan for Congress. Help us send John into the final month of the primary campaign on a high note (this event will be Johns last public appearance in Helena before the primary).

John Heenan is the fighter for working Montanans that we need representing us in Washington, DC, and is endorsed by Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, The People for Bernie Sanders, Montana Progressive Democrats, and Montana Conservation Voters.

Local fundraising co-hosts include Wilmot Collins and Maddie Collins, Amanda Curtis and Kevin Curtis, Rachel Carroll Rivas, Erin Farris-Olsen and Robert Farris-Olsen, Eric Feaver and Ellen Feaver, Katherine Hausrath, Jacquie Helt, Jim Jensen, Frank Kromkowski, Daniel Ladd, Cheryl Lamb and Mike Lamb, Dan Laughlin and Kiera Laughlin, Bonnie Lambert and Marshall Mayer, Josh Manning, Lorna Milne and Jonathan Motl, Casey Molloy and Jim Molloy, Nann Parrett and Aaron Parrett, Ken Toole, and Kim Wilson.

  • LOCATION:Windsor Ballroom of the Iron Front Hotel (Helena, MT).[3]

Campaign manager

Wilmot Collins' US Senate campaign manager Trent Bolger.

Socialist supporter

Frank Kromkowski September 29, 2017 at 9:55 pm.

I’ve known Mayor Jim Smith as a friend since the early 70s and know that he is not a racist. While I have not always agreed with his actions or views, I know he is a good person, and I admire him … but I am proudly supporting progressive candidate Wilmot Collins in the November 7th Helena city election.
Jim Smith recently voted to dismantle the Confederate memorial, and I talked to him for a long time that evening, thanking him, right after that vote, telling him in person that I think he is a good person and that I admire him… I am proudly supporting progressive candidate Wilmot Collins in the November 7th Helena city election.

Marshall Mayer endorsement


Marshall Mayer May 13 2019:

There is a very clear contrast among the candidates currently running for Montana's U. S. Senate seat in 2020. Early support will make all the difference in this race. You know what to do: support Wilmot J. Collins!

I just gave to elect Wilmot Collins

Join me in electing Wilmot as Montana's next U.S. Senator.