So who’s running for the 2017 Montana Legislature?
If you go to the State of Montana’s website you can see this.
James Conner over at Flathead Memo had a good post up on October 9 that links to some fun pages.
One of them lists the C1, or Candidate Declaration form, that everyone running for office in Montana has to file.
Well, it's not quite that - it's more so you can raise money.
So if you see someone’s name with that, it’s a good bet they’re a candiate.
What I did this afternoon was go through the list of everyone who’s filed a C1 for 2016. This lists the House and Senate Districts they’re running in.
Here's a 2017 MT Candidate Spreadsheet you can download.
I asked James Conner to look at it and we already found one mistake - HD3 lists Josh Austill but his PDF C1 says HD56.
Sloppy work, Motl.
Overall, I was amazed that so few have filed to run. A C1 really allows you to raise money, so it’s important in some of those tighter races.
More than that, however, it tells everyone else in your party in no uncertain terms - back off.
That’s why I’m kind of surprised that some people haven’t filed one yet.
Maybe it’s like white shoes after Labor Day, or however that goes - it’s just not proper to file yet.
Don’t tell that to the folks in HD3 - three of them have gone ahead and filed, and MT Cowturd is already making a big deal of one of ‘em.
So the fireworks are starting.
Or are they?
- Just 12 people have filed to run for the Montana Senate in 2016.
- We know that 57 House seats remain without a candidate.
- We also know that 9 House seats have two candidates.
Let's not forget the jump.
Who's going to try to make the transition - the jump - from the House to the Senate? And will there by any in the opposite way? term limits make that possible, and plausible, and smart.
Wake up, Party Bosses - we need experience in the legislature!
Get those old "retired" - you never retire from politics - politicians up, dust the cobwebs off 'em, get 'em on some Alzheimer's meds and wheel 'em to the state house!
What the hell are we doing? How many fuck-ups are we going to allow incompetent "leadership" in both chambers to make? And let's not get into the way lobbyists push our committee chairs around.
Maybe that's the idea though, isn't it? Maybe the legislators aren't supposed to have any power, were never supposed to. Hey, it was that way in the Anaconda days.
So seeing who will make the jump will be interesting. 2016 is a good year for it, much better than off-year 2018. You have to figure many metro-Dems are expecting to ride Tester's coattails that year.
Way too much can happen between now and then, however, especially with the war in Syria.
No, 2016 is the safe year to make the jump...or is it? Incumbency is an issue, and can hurt some. And as we saw in 2014, many of the rural districts bordering the urban areas are far from secure for those candidates. Perhaps that's what's causing some of the C1-reticence there.
I think you’re seeing the urban/rural divide with the lack of C1's as well.
Also, there’s more infighting amongst Democrats for the scarce seats. We all know Democrats can’t live outside of the cities.
That makes it hard for them to win enough seats in the legislature.
Usually we have to call up Eric Feaver on the phone shortly before the filing deadline in March and see if he can wheel out any half-competent teachers to run in those rural areas.
That “writing off” of rural Montana by the Democrats makes things so easy for the GOP. Most of those seats will get a candidate in January when filing officially starts.
Yeah, there are lots of eager ranchers and businessmen and whoever else that’s out there and wants to make a difference.
I will admit that the difference they want to make is to their pocketbook, but who doesn’t? And with a $455 million surplus, doesn’t the state have enough of their money?
I say “their” because that’s not really my money.
I’d be happy to take back the $400 or so in income taxes I paid last year, but I know damn-well any “handouts” will come to the property tax payer.
So it’s hard to sell us renters on cutting taxes.
Alas, the Democrats can’t seem to spend money responsibly so we find ourselves in a quandary.
I wonder how quickly those seats will get declared candidates in early-2016. I wonder how many will remain one-candidate past March 15, the filing deadline.
Primaries will come up in June. Hey, it’s almost Halloween and then it’s the Christmas ad season - things move fast, especially when you’re old. Then they move too damn fast.
Sometimes it’s best for those older folks just to step out of the way, let some younger people take charge.
It’s nice to sit down, to rest.
You’ve earned it, all the hard work you’ve done.
Isn’t it time to hang up that hat and enjoy it all?
I think so.
For you younger folks, eager people ready to take the reins from the never-rein-relenting Boomers, take heart - they aint’ gettin’ any younger.
It’s said that science progresses one funeral at a time, and politics aren’t far different. Political losses happen, new people arrive.
2016 should be an interesting year to see who arrives, and who steps aside...willingly or not.