For instance, there are two glaring red flags you can see with all the Dem candidates: they pay lip-service to affordable housing while offering nothing in the way of solutions - “it really requires us to be innovative, to think outside the box” - and they blame the legislature for Missoula’s property tax woes - “a lot of things this session are really going to impact us the ability for us locally here in Missoula to take care of our own community.”
Candidates like Gilels will often highlight their “years” of community involvement, the nonprofits they worked with, and the many boards and committees they served on. In other words, they really know how to kiss ass and they want to make it clear to you that they’ll continue to do so for years to come...if elected, of course.
Gilels has raised $2,360 so far and has spent $33. The only Dem name I recognize as donating to her is Monica Tranel, who lost her PSC bid last year to Jennifer Fielder. Harp has filed to run again, but has not raised any money yet. Engen wants her gone, and I suspect he’ll get his way.
So far there are 8 people that have filed C1 ‘intention’ fillings, meaning they stand a good chance to officially file when that starts tomorrow. Of course, many candidates won’t file until the last minute, which is June 21.
Of those 8 candidates, just 4 have so far filed a financial disclosure form, meaning they’ve raised/spent some kind of money so far.
One is Bob Campbell, who’s running for Ward 5 as a Republican/conservative. He’s raised $400 so far and has spent $280 of that. He’ll be running against current officeholder, Stacie Anderson...if she chooses to run again. If not, the seat will be open. He’ll face an uphill battle running in liberal Missoula, but no one thought Contos would win in Ward 5 last time, so there’s a chance.
Daniel Carlino will be running for Ward 3. Last year, he ran for the PSC #4, but was defeated in the primary by Monica Tranel. After that defeat, Carlino was a little hurt and took to social media and the blogs to complain about Tranel. I doubt that earned him many friends, and I doubt he’ll find much support with this current bid for office because of that:
“Carlino, who ran a campaign in line with ideals of the Green New Deal, which calls for transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables as quickly as possible.
But Carlino, a climate change activist and recent University of Montana graduate, said he wouldn't be supporting Tranel in any meaningful way unless she signed a pledge saying she would never accept funding from fossil fuel CEOs or lobbyists.
Carlino framed the race as a loss based on money and the workings of a moderate establishment.
‘I think I have the winning message even though I didn't win the election,’ he said. ‘The Democratic establishment endorsed her and helped her out. I think I was out-fundraised six times over. But overall her message doesn't match with what climate science demands.’”
Yeah, a woke liberal that wants to jump aboard AOC’s $93 trillion Green New Deal package, as if that won’t destroy the country’s economy. But talk like that is very popular in ‘woke-cinated’ Missoula, so maybe Carlino has a better chance than we imagine.
So far, Carlino has raised $1,860 and has spent $600, all for his website. I don’t see a lot of big Missoula names supporting him financially, just Ben Darrow, Bracha Tenenbaum (related to legislator Danny Tenenbaum?), and Tom Winter. That tells me he doesn’t have Dem establishment support, will likely face an ‘accepted’ candidate, and will likely lose.
Remember, if it looks like the accepted Dems might lose, Engen will have the council declare a primary, ensuring their opposition gets wiped-out early.
Jordan Hess will be running for Ward 2...again. How long has he been on the council, a decade? During that time, life has only become more difficult for common Missoula workers and struggling homeowners. But Jordan is safe in his cushy, taxpayer-funded university job, so what does he care?
He hasn’t filed a campaign finance report yet.
Mike Nugent is running for Ward 4, against Jesse Ramos...if he chooses to run again. Nugent made his money first off the backs of the student loan crisis, and then off the backs of Missoula’s ‘affordable’ housing mess. He wants to take what he learned in those ventures to ‘help you’ on the council.
To do so, he’s raised over $4,400 so far and has spent $126. He has most of the Missoula Dem machine’s support wrapped-up so far: Tyler Gernant, Mark Thane, Amber Sherrill, Stacey Rye, Annaliese Hedahl.
Aside from those folks, we have two that have declared that they will run for mayor. One is Jacob Elder, who has raised over $7,000 so far and has spent nearly $2,000. While Elder may not be running as a Republican, he’s garnering a tad of GOP support. So far Greg Hertz and John DeMarois have donated. Elder’s largest expenditure so far has been $1,100 for 100 yard signs.
The other candidate is none other than the elephant in the room, John Engen. He indicated he’d run again on Monday and hasn’t filed a finance report yet. I believe this will be his fifth time running for mayor. Sadly for the hardworking people of Missoula, he’ll probably win.
The only real wildcard at this point is if Jesse Ramos will run again, which I doubt he will. Even if he does, the Dem machine found someone that has a good chance of beating him.
And let’s be completely honest - no matter who wins in November, nothing is going to change:
- Housing will only get less affordable
- Rents will only increase
- Taxes will only go up
- City spending will only skyrocket
- And you and your problems will only be paid lip-service in public while laughed at in private.
Welcome to Missoula.