Peter Johnson, writing in the Great Falls Tribune, in 2002:
It’s too early to panic, but Montana Democrats anxiously are recruiting a candidate to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg….
But the more pertinent time frame is how long it takes a challenger to organize a campaign, raise money and get his or her name before voters.
By that measure, Democratic as well as Republican politicos agree, it’s getting late.
“We are fast approaching the time when a Democratic challenge to Rehberg will become little more than a facade,” said former Democratic Congressman Pat Williams, who started his own campaign nearly two years before he was first elected to Congress in fall 1978.
“We’re not quite at that point yet, especially if a well known Democrat enters the race,” he added. “But it takes a lot of time to organize, raise money and get known around the state.”