The reason I did this was simple:
Last night, someone showed me a text message from Missoula GOP urging someone to run for mayor.
I was quite surprised, as I hadn’t heard anything about this (contrary to popular belief, the Montana GOP hates my guts just as much as the Montana Democrats).
Seems the call went out way back on May 18. Here it is:
“The Missoula County Republican Party is looking for a candidate to support for Mayor in the 2021 Missoula municipal election. If you’ve been thinking about running, or know someone who may be thinking about running, please email email@example.com, call 406-542-1628 anytime or contact us from the home page. We will be interviewing prospective candidates between now and the filing deadline on June 22. Even though this is a non-partisan race, the Republican Party would like to support a fiscally conservative, issues-based candidate, who is concerned about lowering property taxes, listening to the voters, and making sound and responsible financial decisions for Missoula.
We are able to offer candidate training, financial and grassroots support, as well as a substantial volunteer base to our selected candidate.
**You must live in the city limits**”
Yep, they’re desperate.
I found this odd.
You see, a couple weeks ago I was listening to the agonizingly-long and outline-without podcast on RD when Tim Adams - whom I consider to be one of the key political analysts in the state - mentioned something that really caught my ear.
He said the Missoula GOP was happy with Engen, because he spreads the money around.
I wish those podcasts had some kind of formatted outline, so I could go right to the say...35-minute mark and find that exact quote.
But just like AMC last Friday, I was wrong.
Seems the GOP actually does want someone to replace Engen...so bad that they send it in a text to favored members, and barely make mention of it on their various media platforms.
The last post on their Facebook page was nearly 10 days ago. If they really wanted to get rid of Engen, they’d be posting multiple times a day to that effect.
But they’re not.
That’s how bad the Missoula GOP wants Engen gone.
Or maybe that’s just how they do things in California. That’s where the head of the Missoula GOP is from - Vondene Kopetski, along with her son Mike Hopkins, the Treasurer for the Montana GOP.
Mike might feel his star is rising because of his role in the infrastructure bills and marijuana bills in Helena.
But here in Missoula, he and mommy can’t even find someone to run against our fat, drunk and stupid mayor.
Someone that admitted to drinking at noon, while on the job, while driving his city-provided vehicle.
Tells you a lot about Von and Mike’s political clout - they can ‘do it’ in the Helena bubble, just not in their own backyard.
So with 12 business days and 17 days in total, it’s clear the Republicans are desperate to find a viable candidate to replace John Engen.
They know Jacob Elder isn’t that person, not after the sexual assault allegations.
Oh...and whatever happened to that report that was supposed to come out a week after the allegations?
I’m willing to bet the GOP thinks that report is coming out shortly after the filing deadline of June 22, ready to torpedo Elder for good. The City of Missoula does so many 'study' contracts with California firms, I'm willing to bet they have contacts who can pull strings with the California firm doing the Elder audit.
It’s why the Missoula GOP is desperate to find a candidate now, because they know if they don’t in two weeks, Engen is going to coast to an easy victory.