Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand. – Colin Powell
It was a great day on Saturday as The Western Word travel budget allowed me the opportunity to attend the candidate debate between Democrats U.S. Sen. John Walsh, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams. The debate was held at the Benefis Hospital’s Cameron Auditorium, which is about four blocks from The Western Word world headquarters.
I counted around 100 people in the auditorium. The debate lasted a little over 90 minutes. Somebody brought cookies, which was a nice touch. People were friendly. The debate was sponsored by the Great Falls Tribune and Benefis Health System.
There were 10 questions asked (one of them was mine) dealing with issues from Obamacare to defense to the environment to gun control to politics. Ironically, nobody asked what the word “Benefis” means. Each candidate was able to give opening and closing remarks.
Congratulations to the Great Falls (MT) Tribune for hosting a candidate debate between the Democrats running for U.S. Senate. Senator John Walsh, former Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams have agreed to participate. I applaud them for taking part in the debate.
The debate is scheduled for Saturday May 3 at the Benefis East Campus Cameron Auditorium. It starts at 1:00 p.m.
On the other side of the aisle, it’s disappointing that two of the three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate either did not respond to the invitation or declined. Missoula state Rep. Champ Edmunds agreed to participate. The Tribune reported that Congressman Steve Daines “declined to participate” and newcomer Susan Cundiff “did not respond” to an invitation.
It was good to see that the Tribune allowed Edmunds a chance to respond to Daines’ declining to debate him. Edmunds said:
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):
We’re just a few days from Montana’s deadline to file for office (March 10 at 5:00 p.m.) and this is when it gets exciting for political observers. According to the Montana Secretary of State’s office, March 10 is officially the “last day for candidates to file declarations for Primary Election.”
There are a bunch of questions yet to be answered, such as:
How many contested primaries will there be?
Will the so-called “responsible Republicans” all get primary opponents?
Will some well-known people file for office and surprise people?
Will any current office holders decide it’s not worth serving and not file?
Who will withdraw?
Will the Republicans and Democrats be able to find candidates to run for all the seats?
I did a quick check this morning (before coffee) and so far it looks like there are about nine contested primaries for state senate and about 19 for state house races. There are also four Libertarian candidates. Eight candidates have already withdrawn.
Thanks for stopping by The Western Word for another edition of “Thursday Numbers!”
If this is your first time checking out “Thursday Numbers,” this column is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm). Be advised – people have been known to gain a vast amount of knowledge by reading “Thursday Numbers.”
This week I write about the cost of raising a child, unemployment, Duck Dynasty, Great Falls Public Schools, Woodstock, Egypt, Social Security, Jesse Jackson Jr., same-sex marriage and the military, Malmstrom AFB, Dirk Adams for Senate, Newt Gingrich speaks, and much more!