Yo, Brian, are you running?

Former two-term governor Brian Schweitzer’s name has surfaced as the possible sole representative from Montana in the U.S. Congress. The soon to be open House seat could be up for grabs before May Day, 2017 (as we can safely assume that Rep. Ryan Zinke will be confirmed as secretary of the interior and resign as our representative).

Schweitzer’s recent CNN appearance is whetting the appetites of many Montana Democrats. After a dismal showing in the 2016 election, they see Schweitzer as their best shot at taking back this seat. The last Democrat to hold the position was Pat Williams, whose term ended in early 1997.

Schweitzer has been quiet since his 2014 “gaydar” comment, which pretty much put an end to the rumors of a presidential bid. It looks like he may be getting back in the limelight, though.

He has yet to commit and this contest wouldn’t appear to be his modus operandi — running for the lowest ranking seat in the 435 member U.S. House of Representatives (and living in Washington, D.C.).

The interesting part is the three qualifying parties — Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians — will hold nominating conventions, probably in February. That means the selected candidates will have a little over two months to run a statewide campaign before the special election. And that means putting together a team, raising money, spending money, meeting the media and the masses, making phone calls and Facebook posts and tweets, kissing hands and shaking babies, etc., etc.

Which is why I’d like to know, Brian, if you’re considering running. It would sure make things simpler for the Democrats and harder for the Republicans.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a STRONG Amanda Curtis supporter. She’s young, smart, progressive and a hard worker. However, I don’t see her throwing her hat in the ring if you’re going to run, Brian. So, to be fair to her, and other potential candidates, please let us know your intentions.



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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • Be careful what you wish for. There is a reason Schweitzer abruptly announced he wasn’t running a week before his planned “announcement” for US Senate. Schweitzer has the same baggage issues the DNC confronted him with when they withdrew their support in 2013. Personally, I would love to see him run. It would be an opportunity for the GOP to put a final nail in his coffin and Montanan’s might finally get to see the video of him in the Tokyo hotel.

    Amanda Curtis would be a much better choice than Schweitzer. Of course, there are all those video blogs and pesky IWW/Wobblie/Anarchist/Communist issues she will have to deal with again.

    I still believe Juneau, Romano or Laslovich are your best picks of the names I have seen. They all have good name recognition and few hard negatives. They will have to run better campaigns than in the past but if the GOP makes a poor candidate pick, they have a shot.

    • First, Pogo, it’s a bit hypocritical for someone from the party who gave us Trump to talk about a candidate’s “baggage.” If there’s any truth to this “Tokyo hotel,” I imagine it pales in comparison to our p***y-grabbing, lying, cheating commander-in-chief.

      As for Amanda, that’s what right-wingers call progressives, like FDR: Commies, Wobblies, etc. I think a run from her would be refreshing.

      As for the last three you mentioned, I don’t think they’re interested.

      Is Gianforte running?

      • Yes, Gianforte is definitely trying to secure the GOP nomination, along with quite a few other Republicans. It’s too early to figure out who will be the selected nominee.

    • Pogo, you are correct, the Montana Republican party’s lies and smears about my wife and I are still out their. But rest assured the MTGOP’s systematic smear tactics and outright lying to their own supporters and all Montanans will be exposed in the most embarrassing way (for the MTGOP) if Amanda runs. We have indisputable proof that the Montana Republican Party bosses are liars who work in concert with “Fake News” sites and dark money groups who engage in and support American Fascism. As Vice President Wallace in 1944 warned – “The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact.” Today’s MTGOP party bosses have in fact become the leaders of the American Fascist movement in Montana.

      • But you won’t give us this “indisputable truth” unless she runs, huh?

        I find that troubling.

        Wouldn’t it be in the best interests of the state to give us that information now? Why are yo holding on to it?

        Also, the 1944 Wallace comments are growing a bit tiring now, after months of them. I also don’t think your – or Democrats’ – strategy of calling those they oppose ‘fascists’ is going to help anything.

      • “Fascists”????? Well at least you didn’t call us “Deplorables”.

        But I expect calling people “Fascist” is going to work as well for Amanda as “Deplorables” worked for Hillary.

          • Geez, I actually feel kinda sorry for Benito Cheetoh. Sheesh, a nazi can’t catch a break now days. Time to call in a few favors, RIGHT Don? The Don knows people. Time to send a few horse heads out, or maybe a guy’s balls in a jar. But gawd DAMMIT! This is still Murca!

            True story. I had a conversation with a very elderly nun the other day. I was ranting about Drumpf when she interrupted me in ONLY the way a nun can. She said that he IS our president now and we must respect me. And dman if I didn’t say it. Yes, I said bullshit to a nun! Good thing she didn’t have that ruler handy!

    • Brian Schweitzer is the kind of man who wants to lead and not legislate.

      Please provide proof in your bull shit “Tokyo Hotel” or leave the Matrix, thnks.

  • Good post. I hope we hear a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from Schweitzer pretty soon on this. I’d support him.

    You make good points about the need for potential candidates to know whether they should bother raising money or not. If Schweitzer’s throwing his hat into the ring, they might as well not.

    If he sits out, however, then Curtis and Schreiner would be two I’d be interested in supporting. Casey Schreiner’s comments about our problematic reliance on for-profit prisons are right on.

    By the way, when are we going to get definitive news from the Stapleton SoS office about what filing fees are, when candidates can raise money, and things like that? He’s redesigned the office website. Can we get to this now…or did McCullough decide on it before she left?

      • Yes, yes, and yes! Hey, I’m one of those mentioned above. My neck reeks redness!

        You see, the Pubes have already tipped their. Now, all Amanda has to do is stay on message.




        Yep. That otter do it. The Pubes really are morans, and as long as Amanda keeps whackin’ in them with that stick, she’ll win handily!

        The Pubes are barkin’ up the wrong tree. All Amanda has to do is take advantage of that.

    • I wanted to point out something in todays post on your website.

      “Well…why wait on Schweitzer?

      Montana Democrats need to get over this hangup that Brian Schweitzer is the only thing that can save them.

      He’s not.

      It’s actually got very little to do with Schweitzer at all – it’s his ideas, his message, his tone, and his penchant for not giving a damn.”

      It has a lot to do with him as a person. HOWEVER. His understanding of the state and the ability to draw Republicans should be at the top of EVERY Democrats list.

      Remember how all of the Democrats elections before his were pretty much “55-45” on a state and local level? 45% is the magic # you need to hit to have a slight chance.

      Amanda Curtis and Denise Juneau both got 40. They both lost Cascade, Yellowstone AND Lewis and Clark Counties. That is NOT good enough. You’ve got to be able to win those voters along with counties like Treasure, Lake and Park.

      Look at the last 12 years…these are counties (Pondera, Carbon, for example) that Democrat candidates generally lose by let’s say 6-10%. Those are winnable numbers if you’re on par with your game. BUT, your message has got to be a better alternative than a “socialist or a Native”.

      This is a numbers game. Brian knew how to win the #’s game, which opened a whole new world of opportunities for Montana Democrats.

      These are NOT good times for Democrat candidates. I will say this until people finally start getting it, but the Montana Democrat Party may be wise to wait a while to craft a message and not just throw someone into the fire and ruin their future.

      Greg, you should watch this, along with any other Democrat in Montana who wants to a chance in the near future.


  • And now we know. Schweitzer won’t be running.

    “Brian Schweitzer endorses Rob Quist for Congress”

    “Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer today issued a short statement endorsing Rob Quist for the Democratic nomination for the special election to replace Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke as Montana’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Quist, making his first bid for public office, announced his candidacy yesterday.” Flathead Memo

    James Connor at Flathead Memo was the first blog I saw to report Schweitzer’s endorsement. James is usually ahead of the pack when political news breaks.

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