I’d keep my eye on Sandra Vesecka.
She’s the only one on Team Liberty that’s going to go anywhere. I told you this spring there’d probably be at least one city council candidate that’d run a radio ad.
That candidate was Sandra.
When she loses her Ward 6 race tomorrow, I’d encourage her to roll-over whatever’s left in her campaign warchest into a 2020 legislative run.
She had $4,000 still at the end of October.
The beauty of our cities is that you can run in any district, not the one you’re living in...which you have to do for the city council.
HD 96 is a good bet for her. This seat is held by Tom ‘TIF’ Winter, but he actually thinks he has a shot at beating Williams to get the Dem nod for U.S. House.
So the seat is now open. Loni Conley (D) has filed to run for it. No one else has.
Andrew Person held this seat, but Adam Hertz took it away from him in ‘16 before Winter grabbed it in ‘18. It flips a lot, and I suspect it’ll go back to the GOP next year.
HD 94 is another good bet. This seat is held by Kim Dudik, but she thinks she’s going to beat out Raph Graybill to get the Dem nod for AG.
So the seat is now open. Kelsey Cooley (R) has filed to run for it. No one else has. This is a rural district, and I suspect when Dudik leaves it'll go to the GOP for some time.
HD 95 is another option. Shane Morigeau has this seat, but he’s not running again as he thinks he can win the Auditor spot. Currently Denny Tenenbaum (D) is the only one running for this open seat.
HD 99 is another option, though a tough one. Marilyn Ryan looks to be hanging it up. Mark Thane is now running as a Democrat for that seat. He recently retired as Missoula County Public Schools superintendent. I doubt anyone will be able to beat him.
The thing is, Thane will be like all the other Democrats heading to the Legislature from Missoula - ineffective.
It’s not Mark’s fault - it’s simply the inability of the Montana Democratic Party to have a viable message that resonates in rural areas.
If they had that message, they could at least take one chamber of the legislature.
Then they’d have leverage. Currently they have none. Mark will go to Helena in January 2021, but his pro-education speeches and bills will fall on deaf ears.
Montanans don’t want their state to turn into another California, a New York or Illinois. These states have been destroyed by liberal policies and years of one-party rule. Missoula is the closest Montana has come to turning into California, and most of the state is appalled by the Garden City’s policies.
Sandra Vasecka is appalled by them as well. It’s why she’s running for City Council.
She’ll lose tomorrow, as Engen one-upped everyone with his $51,000 primaries. Small price to pay to keep your power base secure, especially when it’s ‘only’ taxpayer money.
So here’s hoping Sandra runs for the legislature next year. I think she’ll have a much better showing in that race then she will tomorrow.