Campaign 2014: Here We Go!

It was fun to monitor the Montana Secretary of State’s website off and on yesterday to see who was running for office. Big thanks to all who are running for office and best of luck on June 3.

The primary field is basically set, although candidates filing for Independent or Minor Party candidates closes June 2. That’s after the candidate has obtained enough signatures on a petition to run for that office, which is absurd and should be changed. You can also run as a write-in candidate, but there are several hoops to jump through for that, too. You can find information for both methods HERE.

There were a few surprises. You can check out the candidate lists HERE. Here are my thoughts and observations (so far):

It appears not everyone is happy with the “anointed” Democrat and Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Republican Champ Edmunds filed for U.S. Senate, as did Republican Susan Cundiff. Steve Daines is also a candidate, but he does not have a clear path to the General Election, although having opponents probably helps him more than it hinders him.

Incumbent Democratic Senator John Walsh has primary opponents, too. Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger are also in the primary.

With the entry of Libertarian candidate Roger Roots into the U.S. Senate race, you could almost hear the air come out of the Montana Republicans’ balloon and a cheer from the Democrats.

Why? In the last two U.S. senate races when a Libertarian has been on the ballot, the Republican lost and the Democrat won.

Roots has run for office before. In 2012, Roots received 16,622 votes in the Secretary of State race where he faced Linda McCulloch (D) and Brad Johnson (R).

Although a Libertarian has been on the ballot in recent U.S. House races, the Republican candidate has won. Ron Fellows is once again running for U.S. House on the Libertarian ticket. He received 20,691 votes in the U.S. House race back in 2010. There are five Republicans and two Democrats running for U.S. House.

With so many Republican candidates for U.S. House, I wonder if the best candidate will make it out of the primary.

For Public Service Commissioner District 5 there will be a three-way Republican primary between John M. Campbell, Brad Johnson, and Derek Skees. The winner gets Democrat Galen Hollenbaugh.

Interestingly, it does not look like the Democrats have a candidate for Public Service Commissioner District 1 to challenge incumbent Republican Travis Kavulla. Maybe it’s because Kavulla dispatched a prominent Democrat in 2010 by taking 64% of the votes.

Fellow Montana blogs Montana Cowgirl and the Flathead Memo both have columns posted about the Montana primary. Read them HERE and HERE.

Here’s my stump speech about elections: Make sure you are registered to vote. Make sure you vote. Find a candidate you like and volunteer on their campaign (It will be fun and you will learn a lot).

Finally, remember this…

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate. ― Thomas Jefferson

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