Today I’d like to compile all that information and give it to you.
Why is this important?
Well…it depends who you are.
- If you’re a Democrat, this information is great because you can see who the moderate Republicans might be. After all, don’t we encourage Democrats to switch over and vote for them? We know we can’t field candidates in those districts that can win on their own.
- If you’re a Republican, this information is great because you can see what ‘opposition’ you’ll face from the candidates that Democrats have fielded. What’s more, you can see who you’ll need to keep an eye on in terms of the legislature’s Committee on Committees.
- If you’re an independent you’ll know all the people in Helena that will hate you next year…should you win.
- If you’re a voter you’ll get nothing.
Oh, alright – you might learn the name of the person running in your district.
Since you probably don’t know what district you’re in anyways, this might not matter.
Yes, the legislature is exciting!
Let’s get right into these candidates and what we know.
I heard it on KGVO radio here in Missoula this week:
The Secretary of State reported that a total of 382 candidates are running for office in Montana this year.
That breaks down to 180 Republicans, 166 Democrats, 11 Libertarians and 4 Independents.
I suppose you might have heard this already from the Montana Democratic Party.
I’ve been removed from all but their fundraising emails, so I did not get that email.
You can read more about it in this the March 17 Logicosity post.
Sadly, MDLCC doesn’t really give us any info on who’s running.
For that you have to go directly to the Secretary of State page with candidate information.
Let’s do that, highlighting the interesting races:
Senate District 7
Three Democrats have filed for this seat:
- Terry Caldwell got in on the last day, though MT Cowturd calls him a fake Democrat. Personally, I can’t think of a better reason to vote for someone, if that site is attacking them.
- Elizabeth Retallick of Hot Springs has filed as a Democrat to run against Jennifer Fielder in SD 7. There is no information on this woman at all, meaning Dems will probably support her.
- Mark Sheets is the third Democrat that will be running against Jennifer Fielder again for SD 7. He ran before and I’ve been saying for months that we need to support him, and I’m not just talking about lip service.
Alas, we know Democrats will fuck that up. I'm willing to bet $10 that these 3 Democrats won't get any support from the Party
Thankfully there’s Glenn Ferren of St. Regis. He’s a Republican that has filed for Jennifer Fielder's SD 7.
For the past couple days he’s been trying to gain traction with a few comments on MT Cowgirl and in the legalize marijuana in Montana group:
The most important thing for concerned Democrats in SD 7 is to vote for Glenn Farren in the primary.
If he wins, Jennifer Fielder is done.
I hope we hear more from Ferren, I hope MT Cowgirl doesn’t drown him out.
Meaningless Senate Races
A big race that you’ll hear about is Don K of Whitefish running for SD 3. He has Melissa Hartman as a Dem opponent, Keith Regier in the primary.
Mainly, this is a good one for Dems to support Don K in. Or is he worse than Regier? I don’t think so. Either way, Hartman won’t be winning.
Democrat Douglas Adolphson is running against Mike Lang in SD 17 (Glasgow/Malta region). This is another one I don’t think Dems have a chance in…and a March 11 filing date by Dems kind of affirms that for me.
Democrat Mary Meyer in Townsend is trying to unseat Scott Sales from SD 35. Again, I doubt this’ll happen.
W.D. “Dark Sevier” Kendrick is running against Democrat Jon Sesso in the Democratic Primary for Butte’s SD 37. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about how Kendrick is a bad guy. I can’t find a thing on him.
Senate District 40
He’s running against Hal Jacobson for the open SD 40 seat, as are two Republicans – Terry Gauthier and Drew Turiano.
I’m not fond of Manning because his step-mom was the main Bullock adviser that made Angela McLean’s life hell.
I just don’t want people like that in Helena. I’m not sorry about that, and you shouldn’t be either.
Senate District 44
Tell them that “De-reg” Fred Thomas is an idiot, one that should never be voted for again after his 1997 deregulation bill ruined our state in so many ways.
The corporate-panderer is running again for the legislature and as an incumbent.
Honestly, how did we let this fool get back in? That is a monumental and glaring failure of Montana Democrats in the modern era. No wonder they don’t talk about this race.
Democrats Lee Tickell and James Olsen are running for this seat. Tickell filed on February 22 while Olsen waited until the last day.
To me, that says the party dredged up Olsen from whatever rock he was living under. The man most responsible for knowing which rocks to turn over is Eric Feaver.
Eric Feaver has been a monumental failure for the state so I’m confident whatever clowns he puts up will lose, and lose badly.
That’s why it might be best to support Lee Tickell for this race…at least until we know more (and when I say “know,” I’m not talking about the BS you read on Cowturd).
That said, expect to hear about Tickell’s “criminal background,” which consists of him breaking into a woman’s car in 1989, mainly because of some sexual harassment allegations. There were also family assault charges in 2009, though they were later dropped.
Maybe Olsen will be the one to support in this race, at least if it means getting rid of De-reg Fred Thomas.
Let’s keep our eye on this one.
Montana House Races
- Dem Steve Haarstick of Libby will challenge Steve Gunderson for the open HD 1 seat.
- David B. McGarry of Libby has risen up to challenge Mike Cuffe for HD 2
- Democrat Susan Evans of Polson is running against incumbent Greg Hertz for HD 12.
- Republican Nick Schwaderer was the incumbent for HD 14 in Superior but he withdrew. He’s leaving the state because he can’t afford to live here anymore, a common problem for skilled young people. In his place will be Denley Loge and Charles Woolley for the GOP and Bryan Foster for the Dems. Woolley filed first for the GOP, though Foster might have gotten the nod from Schwaderer. We’ll see what happens.
- E. Wylie Galt of Martinsdale is running for the open HD 30 seat against Democrat Linda Johnson. Galt is of course related to Jeanette Rankin as Wellington Rankin’s widow, Louise Replogle, married Jack Galt in 1967. I don’t see Galt losing.
- Democrat Jonathan Windy Boy is running for HD 32 unopposed. Let’s learn how he scares his opponents so much that they don’t run against him.
- Speaker Austin Knudsen is running for HD 34 against Democrat Evelyn Carlisle, who was found 3 days before filing ended. There’s no information on her, and to me, that says she’ll lose.
- Republican incumbent Daniel Zolnikov might not make it past fellow GOPer John Bedford in the primary for HD 45. If he does he’ll face Ken Crouch in the general. Since Crouch filed on the last day, I don’t see him winning this Billings race.
- Democrat Jordan Matney has filed to run against Sarah Laszloffy in HD 53. She’ll have to make it past Dennis Lenz in the primary first. He filed on the last day, telling me that someone put him up to it, likely Eric Feaver.
- Incumbent GOPer Seth Berglee is running in HD 58 against Dem Mike Crabtree. I don’t see Crabtree winning against this young, ALEC-supported Republican.
- I was surprised to see Dirk Adams file to run for HD 59 in the Livingston/Wilsall area. He’s going against incumbent Republican Alan Redfield. We know Adams get little support from the party because of comments he made in the presence of Nancy Keenan at a Livingston Democratic Dinner. Why Keenan is still around is beyond me.
- Art Wittich is running for HD 68 again, even though he’s on trial for corruption. He’s the incumbent in that Bozeman district and facing him will be Bruce Grubbs and Michael Comstock in the primary. Expect to see a lot of silent support among Dems to switch over in the primary and vote for Grubbs or Comstock…if Wittich is still around then. For the Dems we have David Andes, who filed on March 9. By now you probably know how I feel about late filers – they’re not serious.
- Democrat Dennis Lester of Silver Star will go after Ray Shaw for HD 71. Shaw will face a GOP primary opponent in Robert Wagner.
- No Republican filed to run against Amanda Curtis for HD 74. Well, isn’t she lucky? Can she still raise money…and if so, how does that work? I’d like more on this, please.
- Mark Snider of Corvallis is the latest Democrat to try for Nancy Ballance's seat, HD 87. Dem A. Jo Young also filed.
- In Missoula we have HD 92 open and Republican Party Treasurer Mike Hopkins is running for the GOP, as are Larry Dunham and Randy Vannoy. For the Dems we have Addrien Marx of Seeley Lake.
- Shane Morigeau is the Democrats’ favorite for HD 95, though Curtis Bridges is also running. They’ll face off in the primary, though from the messages I’ve received from Bridges on Facebook, I know he doesn’t have much chance. The GOP fielded Kyndi Kenck.
- Incumbent Andrew Person is running against Greg Hertz’s son, Adam Hertz, for HD 96. This was a tight race in 2014 and it could be tight this year. Expect the GOP to flag it as a pick-up. Democrats are already rallying around Person, knocking on doors for him. To me, this race will come down to turnout for the presidential race. Could go either way at this point.
- Incumbent GOPer Brad Tschida looks safe to keep HD 97, as both Democrats Nick Davis and Patrick Maloney are unknowns with no information out there as to whether they’re running or not.
- Just one Democratic legislative candidate is running against an incumbent, and that’s in HD 98…the district I ran for in 2014. It’s Michael Daniel Bowles taking on incumbent Willis Curdy. Bowles has a pretty detailed About Us page. Besides that, I’m not confident as to his chances.
There are 52 days until Montana absentee ballots begin to go out.
In my race I’ve already started getting donations and just yesterday I opened my campaign bank account.
I’ll get a few supplies I need. I’ve already designed my campaign card. Next it’s designing and ordering about 10 yard signs.
If you have access to the Voter Access Network (VAN), you can target the strongest voters in your district. They’ll likely let you put a yard sign in their yard.
Alas, Montana Democrats won’t allow me access to the VAN so I’ll have to get creative.
I encourage you to get creative in your race as well. People don’t like boring or business as usual, especially in this year of discontent.
So get out there and get to work, try new things, and impress us.
You want us talking about you. If we’re not, no one will know about you and you’ll lose.
Good luck out there.