Two years ago, I ponied up to be the Republican candidate for the Montana House of Representatives in House District 99 (where I live), even though I knew it would be a long shot because it was about a 70% Democrat district. The election results were about what you’d expect for an R running in a 70% D district.
In this current election cycle, the redistricting commission has redrawn the district, as all Montana districts have been redrawn. Where I live used to be in HD 99; the district is now HD 94. It has gone from 70% D to about 55% D. The incumbent elected last time, liberal lady lawyer Kimberly Dudik, filed to run in HD 94. A Republican nobody had heard of filed to run against her.
Then, the Republican either withdrew or was taken off the ballot, depending on whose story you hear. In any case, that left a free ride for Dudik – nobody else on the ballot in November.
Some people contacted me to seek my permission for them to collect signatures on petitions to place me on the November ballot as an Independent candidate. I agreed to allow that, but warned them that I would probably not have the time and energy (too busy; too many birthdays) to run as aggressive a campaign as I did last time.
The signatures were collected and verified by the Missoula County Elections Office and the Secretary of State. I’ve submitted the necessary paperwork and filing fee to the Secretary of State, and required initial forms to the Commissioner of Political Practices.
The Secretary of State’s office called me late this afternoon to inform me that all the “i”s were dotted and “t”s crossed and I WILL be on the ballot for HD 94 this November as an Independent candidate for HD 94. (My mother as said that I need to have my head examined. She may be right.)
Sooner or later, voters and the media will ask why I’m running as an Independent candidate. My answer will be that in my long political experience I’ve seen far too many examples of where the existing major political parties put the welfare of the party ahead of the welfare of the people. For example, I saw that when I ran as a Democrat in the early 1980s and the Democrat party informed me that if I was elected I’d be expected to vote in the Legislature how the Party told me to vote. We agreed to disagree and the next week all of my campaign signs were destroyed. I saw that when I was a delegate to the Montana Republican presidential nominating convention and the Republican insiders enforced a very unfair process to make sure candidate Ron Paul was shut out and did not get Montana delegates to the national nominating convention.
My chief interest is individual liberty, not the welfare or power of political parties.
I think an Independent candidate will play well in HD 94 in November. The Republican voters won’t vote for a Dem, so they’ll vote for me. By November, the unaligned voters, and even many traditional Democrats, should be sick of Obama and the Democrat Party. They’ll be glad to see an independent on the ballot. We’ll see. It should be interesting.
So, there you have it. I’ll get back to you when the dust settles from the Primary about fundraising for the campaign, and what you can do to help. (For any of you absolutely champing at the bit to donate [campaigns cost money], I’ll include some info below.)
I have opened a campaign account. If you’re eager to get in on this, you could send a check made payable to “Marbut for House”, and mailed to:
P.O. Box 16106
Missoula, Montana 59808
The max any individual may contribute is $170. A husband and wife may contribute $170 each, but it should be in two checks, just to keep it clean.
No checks drawn on the account of a corporation, please. Business checks are okay, as long as the business is not a corporation.
For any checks of $35 or more, I am obligated to report the Name, Address, Occupation and Employer of the donor to the Commissioner of Political Practices. If your name and address are on your check and your donation is $35 or more, please also write your occupation and employer in the Memo line or an included piece of paper.