One has to do with Steve Bullock, and who might up and decide to run against him in the primary.
The other has to do with Tim Fox, and which Democrat might up and decide to run against him in the general.
These are two questions that I’ve seen some traction on in the past day.
Let’s try to answer them.
Tim Fox: A Guy Who’s Doin’ Alright
- He’s in the newspaper quite often on things having to deal with vile and pernicious crimes and how he’s stopping them.
- He has a good social media presence, getting his message out there on a regular basis better than many other statewides.
- He has the ability to work with Democrats on tough legislation and difficult topics (I see Kim Dudik working with him a lot).
- He pisses off the crazies, kooks and cowards of his own party.
That’s pretty impressive stuff.
On that last point I think I’m getting to the hardliner GOP challenge that we saw earlier this year, one that targeted Assistant AG Jon Bennion.
Did you know Bennion wrote a damn good book about all the major Montana politicians of the past 60 years or so? I got it at the library and it’s good.
So he’s a smart guy and I expect he’ll be taking over for Tim Fox in 2020.
Yeah, I see Tim Fox winning in 2016. The guy’s got $122,000 in the bank and no Democratic opponent.
You’re telling me that Democrats can’t find anyone interested in running against this guy?
Hell, if the position didn’t require a law degree I’d think about running against him! If the filing fee’s anything like the $15 for the legislature, why the hell not?
I mean, think of all the name recognition you’ll get! This is a huge stepping stone to future political greatness, and it only takes losing and looking like a schmuck for a few months!
Alas, no Democrats have stepped up to the plate.
That’s not to say one won’t. We have 6 days until filing starts and someone could file on that day.
I sure as shit know that the Democrats will throw someone out there before filing ends in mid-March.
No, Tim Fox will not be allowed to run unopposed.
So who could the potential challenger be?
Honestly, I think Jesse Laslovich would probably make the best candidate. He’s a lawyer, right?
Problem is, he’s running for State Auditor.
Alright, who else is there with a law degree that could do it?
- Dirk Adams: Why not Dirk Adams? It was brought to my attention yesterday that Adams is currently the chair of the Park County central committee. He’s in Wilsall so I’m assuming that’s correct. Anyways, maybe he’ll get some get-up-and-go in him and run. We’ll see.
- Ellie Hill: Currently Hill is in the Montana House from Missoula and she’s filed a C1 to raise money to run again. I doubt she has her sights set on higher office right now, but perhaps if no one else puts forth a challenge by mid-March she will. She is a lawyer, after all, and we need strong voices like hers helping the state.
- Matthew Lowy: This guy ran for a judge position in Missoula in 2014 and lost. He had some good support and the race was close. He doesn’t have much name recognition but a statewide run could change that, and help pave the way for bigger things later. You have to expect anyone that’s going to challenge Tim Fox is going to have that as a primary motivator.
That’s all I got. I have no real idea who the top lawyers are in the state, and which are political. I just don’t know.
Perhaps no one else does either. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen no candidates declare for this position for 2016.
Someone will have to declare, however, and it could be one of those people.
Steve Bullock: A Guy Who’s in the Dumps
The AG’s Office – now there were some good times. No rumors, no innuendo, no scandals either.
Bullock did alright there. In the governor’s office, however, he’s done poorly.
People are noticing, though as far as I can tell, I’m about the only one talking about it.
That doesn’t mean people aren’t thinking about it.
And that means someone could be thinking about running against Bullock in the primary.
We won’t know until next week and we won’t know for sure until March 14.
Until then, let’s speculate on who might challenge him:
- Linda McCullough: How affected was our Secretary of State by the loss of McLean? Were they friends, chummy if you will? I don’t know. I also don’t know how close Bullock and McCullough are. I do know that McCullough’s political time is coming to its end, however. Oh, she could come back in a few years, maybe get a non-elected position, even run for the legislature. But that’s small potato stuff compared to where she’s at now. So, could she challenge Bullock? I’m leaning toward a big ‘no’ on this one, but anything could happen.
- Heather Margolis: This young woman ran against Bullock in the primary in 2012. I have no idea what she's doing now, though I think her candidacy unlikely.
- Steve Nelsen: This guy ran as Margolis’s running mate in 2012 against Bullock. I’m not sure who he is and I doubt he has much chance.
- Larry Jent: Jent was a Montana Senator from District 32 until 2007 and he filed to run against Bullock in 2012 before withdrawing. Could he file some paperwork again? Maybe. After all – that’s easy and anyone can do it. Running and raising money and getting out the vote is the hard part.
- John Bohlinger: I would not be surprised in the slightest if Bohlinger takes it upon himself to return some decency and common sense to the governor’s office. I would not be surprised in the slightest if the Democrats attack him something fierce and he’s driven from the field in shame, frustration, and with a lot more resentment toward the Party.
- Dave Wanzenried: Loyal readers of this site will know that I love brining in ‘ol Dave from time to time. He’s what I consider a loyal workhorse of the party, someone that’s always ready for the call of duty. Right now he’s teaching college in Billings, however, and I’m not sure he’d be able to mount a serious campaign. He declined to run for governor in 2012.
- Pat Williams: Our old standard-bearer for the U.S. House back when it still had two seats in the 90s, Williams is still on the scene. Could he throw his hat in the ring to try and take the lead of a party in trouble? Maybe, but I’m not counting on it.
- Mark O’Keefe: Last we heard of this guy was in 2000 when he ran for governor against Judy Martz. Before that he was State Auditor. I’m not sure what he’s up to or how old he is. Could he run? Again, I’m doubtful.
- Angela McLean: This is the big one that a lot of people are wondering about, and will keep wondering about until filing ends in March. Personally, I don’t feel that McLean has much more than a shot at making the divide in the Montana Democratic Party more public than it already is. I expect she’d do about 20% worse than Bullock in the primary if she ran. I don’t see her raising a lot of money as most donations would be small and from individual donors. That’s what you want, but it wouldn’t be able to catch up to Bullock’s war chest in time. That said, I’d be the first to donate $20 to McLean if she did run.
- Dirk Adams: I still think Adams could mount a challenge against Bullock, but I feel he’d run into the same problems as McLean. Bullock has allied himself with the Wall Street Democrats. Considering we know that Joshua Manning was a former spook and D.C.-type, and his step-mom is the lead adviser to Bullock, I think we know the Back-Easters have their hooks in our governor, and deep. I’m not sure Adams’ own East Coast banking connections could match that.
Alright, that’s all I got for this one too.
Democrats just don’t have the bench, they don’t have the names sitting in the background that can rise up to a challenge.
Most of the names they have are old. Often times they’re has-beens, meaning they did their stuff already.
In other words, it’s not their time anymore.
The problem with Democrats is they often edge people out so that it’s never anyone’s time.
New people don’t have times anymore, it seems to me.
I think it’s time that changes. Will 2016 be the year?
I highly doubt it. Nope, I think 2016 will be the year that Democrats break out the whip and crack it hard across their members’ backs, telling them to get the hell in line, damn it, and don’t fuck this up.
Remember, if Bullock loses then a lot of the people in a certain area of the Capitol will be out of a job.
We can’t have that, now can we?