- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — U.S. House candidates Ryan Zinke and John Lewis are courting veterans with ideas to make their voices heard and ways to reform U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the wake of a scandal.

Zinke announced a plan Tuesday he says will help veterans receive better care without long delays. The Republican veteran says he supports efforts to reform the VA health care system through increased scrutiny and allowing patients to receive care in non-VA clinics.

Lewis has created an advisory council open to Montana veterans and their families that he says will help him be responsive to their needs.

The group is made up of 17 veterans and others are encouraged to join. Lewis says he plans to hold periodic conference calls with them to hear their concerns.