In this post we'll go through the election return results and analyze how the Missoula Democratic machine may or may not fare come November, especially considering the failed tax and spend policies of the runaway Democratic mayor, something that will hurt those in tight races.
Votes are trickling in as we pass midnight, with 41.27% of precincts reporting (and a total of 1,183 votes in my district).
So in other words it’s too close to call a few tight races in the state.
I don’t think that’s the case with my race. As of now here’s where the vote stands:
So I bet Heather Cahoon is really wishing that I wouldn’t have run right now, huh? Well…schucks!
I guess I lost this one, unless I can miraculously pull 40% of the remaining unreported votes, which seems unlikely.
I’m pretty happy that 106 people voted for me, er…105 not counting myself.
And when you consider how much money I spent, that’s just about $10 a vote! Compared to some of the other races in the state, I got a really, really good deal!
But that also means 106 people liked what I had to say enough to vote for me. Maybe they’d vote for me again if I run for another office or again in two years. Of course no one really wants to think about that after losing on election night.
So it looks like Willis Curdy will be the Democratic candidate for the Montana Legislature out of Missoula’s House District 98. I hope he does a good job, and I’d email him to say good luck, but he never responded to my earlier email from several months ago.
Well, that’s about it for politics until November. Will Willis Curdy defeat Roger Seewald, the Republican who ran unopposed in the Republican primary and got 562 votes so far? I’m sure he will, or at least I hope so – he did lose HD 100 back in 2010 after all.
But that’s for another day. Until then…thanks for voting for me, Missoula!
I just got done voting in Missoula today.
I was the 109th person at my polling place, C.S. Porter School. That was not an encouraging sign.
First, we expected turnout in this election to be low. I’m expecting, with the absentee ballots to be counted later tonight, that there’ll be just 1,300 people voting in this election at the most, and 700 at the least.
Turnout is expected to be around 25% to 30%, and what’s more, Democrats will probably turnout in fewer numbers than Republicans.
All of those things hurt me. The one consolation is that the sheriff’s race and the county attorney’s race are both on the Democratic ticket, and that might increase some of that turnout for me.
While I’m not sure if I’ll get any of that crossover vote, I’ll sure welcome it nonetheless.
All in all, it comes down to my efforts on the doors, with mailings, and with social media. Perhaps I should have gotten those yard signs, but it’s too late for that now.
Maybe I should have spent that last $126 – but again, that does nothing for me.
Nope, it’s all coming down to the counts that start when polls close in an hour, at 8 PM.
I’ll put up another post tonight when it’s all said and done.
Update #3 (May 28): There are 1,326 absentee ballots in HD98 that have not been returned yet.
Update #2: As of today, 14,985 absentee ballots in Missoula County have yet to be returned.
Update: I got busy this evening and put out 88 flyers on various apartment doors in my district.
A week from today people will be voting. Well, they already are – absentee ballots in Montana went out on May 5.
I wonder how many people voted for me already? I knocked on 350 doors and sent out around 500 flyers. I also kept up a sustained social media marketing campaign on the leading newspapers in Missoula and the top blogs of the state.
Will it do any good? It’s hard to say, and we won’t know the answer to that until around 10 PM next Tuesday night, perhaps later. Hell, the results could be so close there’s a runoff and it takes days to decide the winner – it’s come close in Missoula elections before.
There are three candidates running in the Democratic primary for House District 98 after all, and each has a good chance of winning. I seem to be the only one without any yard signs, although I haven’t seen a whole lot for this race in general.
Well, that’s not quite true. Last week Willis Curdy put up a sign right across the street from my apartment. I don’t like seeing that each time I go outside, but oh well.
I noticed one of Jennifer Cahoon’s signs a block from my place, and it was on the boulevard and a little obscured by weeds and grass. Ha, I liked that, but maybe she’ll read this and move it to a better position. Darn!
Overall it’s a waiting game. I should get out and do some literature drops, especially on the apartment buildings around the district. Most of these places have residents that move a lot, and many weren’t on my original lists from March.
Driving around, parking out front of the larger ones, and dropping off 10 to 20 flyers might just turn out an extra 3 to 4 votes. What’s more, I still have about $100 in campaign funds, so I can buy gas!
Now, should I do another mailing? I don’t know. The day to do so would be tomorrow or the next day. I’m not sure how effective it is, but of the nearly 500 cards I sent I’ve only gotten about 5 back in the mail.
So that’s how it stands here in Missoula, Montana, on the eve of primary elections for 2014. Please vote June 3!
I was pleasantly surprised to see an email from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana today telling me that they’ll be endorsing me for the Montana Legislature.
I’m happy to get this endorsement as I appreciate women and families. Planned Parenthood has lots of services that help out struggling families, and those are the people I’m trying to help as a legislator in Helena. I figure there are already enough people with lots of money helping out businesses every two years, and we need more voices for the poor and forgotten.
Here are some of the things Planned Parenthood of Montana does for hardworking families:
It’s that last point that gets both political parties in this country riled-up. I think women have a right to do whatever it is they want with their bodies, pretty much like men.
Anyone who’s read my comments on the issue on the many blogs and newspapers of the state knows my take on this. Here are a couple:
Imagine how much better the world would be if anti-abortion folks actually cared about anyone but themselves.
I just don’t think a lot of abortion opponents are going out of their way to help the people they claim to care so much about.
For them it’s just politics, and honestly, I think they’re clueless on what a lot of young families are going through, especially when it comes to finances.
It costs about $1 million to raise a kid from 0 to 18, and I’ve got news for you, most people in Montana aren’t making that in eighteen years, even with two part-time jobs. So save your moral indignation for someone with money.
Here’s another one where I really lay out how I feel about this whole abortion debate in America, which I think is a sham:
It’s unfortunate we don’t have Republicans smart enough to know abortion isn’t an issue, it’s a detractor issue.
So that’s just a little of what I’ve said about abortion before. I’m not sure if that factored into this endorsement, or just the fact that I’m a Democrat. Either way, hopefully it’ll get me a few more votes here come Election Day, which is now less than two weeks away.
Tomorrow the mail-in ballots go out in Montana, allowing people to vote early in the June 3 primary.
Since I'm running for the Montana Legislature I need to get those votes. One way to do that is with a political mailing, as you can see here...
I haven’t been doing a whole lot with this blog lately. The same goes for my election campaign.
And today marks exactly one month until the June 3 primary election!
There’s only one person on my campaign – me. So that means I do it all. And lately I haven’t been doing anything.
Why? Well, I could give you some reasons, like the following:
Those are the main reasons I haven’t gotten out and knocked on doors in a month.
I’ve got a box of election flyers just sitting here and some remittance envelopes as well. Hell, I’ve even got a few hundred bucks in my election bank account, which is a few hundred more than I’ve got in my personal bank account!
There’re a lot of political signs sprouting up in Missoula yards. I’ve seen a few Willis Curdy signs and even a few for Heather Cahoon. I expected the former but not the latter.
How many signs have I got? None.
Yep, not a single political sign.
Most people would write off my Montana election campaign as a joke right there. Well, maybe it is. I’ve confined most of my activity lately to commenting on the Misoulian website. You can read my comments here.
Will that get me elected? I highly, highly doubt it.
There is a TV broadcast next week, and I did go to a meeting of the Target Range Homeowner’s Association a week or two ago.
So my campaign’s not dead, it just might look like it. But that also means I’m not suffering what many political campaigns in Montana are suffering right now, and that’s bad press.
Yep, many Montana House and Senate races are all over the place in the media. Either Montana candidates are accepting dark money from out of state or they’re trying to hurt Montana more than help it.
At least I don’t have that problem. Early ballots go out in the mail on Tuesday. That’s when voting begins, and in exactly one month we’ll know the outcome.
Did you know I worked for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service?
Yeah, it was some time ago – 1999 to 2001. And it’s not like I had a whole lot of responsibility – I was a file clerk.
So what did I do during the nearly 2 years I worked at the USFWS in Helena before moving to Missoula to go to school?
Filed endless amounts of paperwork;
Yeah, I had a lot of duties, but it wasn’t all boring office stuff. Every once in a while they’d let me outside to do some fieldwork.
Now, at the time I was fresh out of high school (I started working there my senior year). So that means I really had no qualifications to do fieldwork.
But do you need qualifications to go out and do manual labor, lots of carrying, and doing this and that at the biologists’ instructions? Not really.
Here are a few of the more memorable jobs I worked on:
In June 2000 I headed down to Anaconda for a week to work with some graduate students from Texas.
They were catching small birds, putting little choke collars on them (which made it impossible to swallow the food mom gave them), and then testing that food. We could tell what level of contamination was in the ground from that, and sometimes they’d even dissect a bird to see the level of contaminants in its brain.
Mainly I carried a lot of stuff and took notes for the grad students.
One time I headed out with a contaminants biologist to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Well, I’m pretty sure that was the one – I can’t quite remember.
Anyways, we did more bird testing there, and also testing of really small invertebrates, you know, the kind you see swimming around in ponds.
We had to get into this salt water and it totally ruined my favorite Led Zeppelin shirt. Oh well!
Probably the best job I worked on was outside West Yellowstone in October, 2000.
I headed there with a couple wolf biologists to put up some electric fencing on three acres of this sheep ranch.
The family had had some deprivations so this was really a good way to help solve that for them, while also getting some good PR for the wolf re-introduction program, which was still controversial at that point, even though it was already 3 to 5 years old.
Here you can see a newspaper clipping from the Billings Gazette, which sent a reporter up to cover us on our last day. It made the front page, but unfortunately I don’t have the upper portion.
To give you an idea of the date, check out the backside of the article:
Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman? Yep, that was in the fall of 2000.
Getting Things Done
Anyways, it’s pretty clear I’ve got some knowledge of the environmental concerns facing Montana – it’s hard not to when you work for an agency like that for two years.
And I also like to think I have the attitude that many biologists had, one that recognizes the complex problems and the people that line up on both sides of them.
We never would have gotten anywhere at the USFWS without compromising. While it might not seem like that happened a lot, we did it. For instance, I made it a point in one meeting that we had to get a more efficient way to approve cell towers.
All of these contraptions had to be signed-off by USFWS since they posed a potential risk to birds.
The problem was that we were getting dozens of requests a week, and each required our director’s signature, even though they were all the same. I convinced them to rubber stamp them (I went out and got one designed for us) so those companies could get on with their business all the sooner. No one likes waiting around for the government.
Sure, it might have been a small thing, and maybe some people didn’t like it, but it got things done.
Too often when it comes to environmental policies and procedures, nothing gets done. You won’t get that with me – make a decision, see it through, and move on to the next problem, that’s my philosophy.
At noon today on the Missoula Courthouse steps the Montana Democratic Party stood united for all Montanans.
Here’s a picture of the event, which had nearly every candidate we’ve got for these 15 races.
Speaking in that picture is Bryce Bennett, the minority whip in the House. He did a great job introducing the problems we face, offering up solutions to combat them, and pointing out that the democrats have a core message.
Republicans, on the other hand, don’t have a clear focus. Right now their Senate president has stepped down to run for the House! That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, no matter how you want to explain it.
Later in the evening the Missoulian article on the Missoula Democratic event appeared.
Following the rally we headed over to the Union Club. There we talked for nearly two hours about the legislative priorities each official and candidate has.
I talked about the Main Street Montana Program, which is something I think will be critical in getting those high-tech, IT, content marketing, social media, and other 21st century jobs here.
What’s even better, though, is that the program is trying to start those jobs here, not just bring them from out of state. This is great, since we’ve got lots of graduates that want to stay here, but they just can’t due to a lack of opportunity.
The Democratic fun continues tonight at the Burns Street Bistro beginning at 5:30 when all the candidates will be available to talk about the issues with the public. I’ll be there with my wife and son and I hope I can see some of you there too.
2014 Montana Election Blog
In the 2014 elections I ran for the Montana Legislature as a Democrat in Missoula's House District 98.
My Montana History Books