Matt Rosendale Montana Politics Senate Race 2018

Sunday sundries: Rosendale, 2018 House race, and Havre hustlers


This guy regulates our insurance and securities

The screen shot above is from the Federal Elections Commission campaign finance report filed by Matt Rosendale, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.

This page alone shows $10,100 in contributions from insurance industry players. Montana Cowgirl broke the story back in May when Rosendale headed to Florida for a fundraiser for himself. It looks like the trip paid off and helped with “Debt Retirement” on the $254,450 he came up short during his 2014 congressional primary.

Rosendale has a more contentious relationship with Montana providers, as the Bozeman Chronicle reports.

And after less than a year on the job as commissioner, he’s now the Steve Bannon candidate in the 2018 Senate Republican primary. We’ll see who’ll retire his debt after he throws a million or so dollars of his own money into that race.

The more the merrier?

Five Democratic candidates have filed for the Montana 2018 U.S. House race with more in the wings, and the filing deadline is still over four months away (March 12, 2018).

Billings has two candidates: Lynda Moss and John Heenan. Bozeman has two: Tom Woods and Kathleen Williams (Williams being the most recent addition) and Missoula has one: Grant Kier. I’ve tried to link the above names to a website, Facebook page or news story, where I could find one.

Former Butte (actually Ramsey) legislator Pat Noonan’s name has been bandied about. He was term limited out in 2016 and had an unsuccessful run for the Montana Public Service Commission in 2016.  Independent Caron Cooper may have cost Noonan that election, although that’s conjecture on my part since the combined Noonan/Cooper votes were only 1,746 more than victor Roger Koopman’s 54,981 total … but I digress.

There will be lots of competition for Democratic dollars going into the 2018 primary season. That, and the fact that the winner need only garner 20+ percent of the vote for a win makes it a hinky House race. James Conner alluded to this and advanced the idea of instant runoff elections. Not a bad idea, James, although I’m also a fan of fusion voting as practiced in state of New York.

Worse than strange

A number of Montana characters have run for national office in recent memory: Merrill K. Roddick, perennial presidential candidate on the Puritan Ethic and Epic, Magnetohydrodynamics and Prohibition Party ticket. His campaign bus was the Greyhound line, which he rode around the country spreading his message. There was Libertarian blue man and conspiracy theorist Stan Jones. And the wild eye-browed Democratic, Green and Republican Party candidate for just about every office imaginable, Bob Kelleher.

This Havre couple, who filed for the 2018 U.S. Senate race on the Democratic and Republican ticket defy definition. She’s the Democrat and he’s the Republican, so they say, and both share a plan for America that includes “an entirely new financial system,” although it can’t be revealed until after they’re elected.

It cost the couple a total of $3480 to file for office, which is a substantial amount if they’re just goofing around. So, scammers, nut cases or true believers? Let’s hope more info comes out before the primary election on June 5, 2018.







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  • I am very concerned you have not lent your voice to denouncing the cultural appropriation of Missoula’s Festival of the Dead. the only conclusion to be made is this blog supports the white liberal racists in Missoula perpetuating this cultural appropriation for a quarter of a century. you are either with the indigenous protestors or with the white liberal racists. which side will you choose?

    • I’ve struggled with this one. Having enjoyed the Day/Festival of the Dead for many years now, I’d hate to see it go away. I’ve never felt that I or my family appropriated a cultural custom or showed any disrespect. It’s an important celebration of life and death which deserves thoughtful participation.

      That being said, I can see how some would take offense at those who view it as a party: basically just drinking, dressing up and dancing around. I’m not aware of any Latino or indigenous groups being opposed to us gringos joining in this festival but I could be wrong. If there are, then some serious introspection needs to take place. I would forego this celebration if we’re truly stomping on a peoples’ religious practice.

      I guess I need more information.

  • Jared Pettinato, a Stanford educated lawyer from Whitefish now living in Bozeman, announced Saturday that he’s a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House ( Thus far, he has a one-plank platform. We now have five announced candidates, with Lynda Moss formally announcing on 4 November, and the possibility that Pat Noonan may become the seventh candidate. If that happens, in theory the primary could be won with slightly less than 15 percent of the vote. What a mandate that would be: more like soft fizzin’ than Pete’s fusion.

  • I count six official candidates, James: Heenan, Kier, Woods, Moss, Williams and now Pettinato. It’s a cluster but nothing new. I think there were five candidates in the 1980 Democratic U.S. House Primary. Pat Williams won it over an excellent field … and went on to win the general.

    • I’m not sure whether Moss is officially in given her campaign kickoff is Saturday, but I agree that for all practical purposes she’s in. I also agree that several candidates is nothing new — and that’s what concerns me. Here are the western district primary totals for 1980, and the statewide totals for 2012. Williams won a majority in 1980, but Gillan won with 31.2 percent in 2012, hardly a mandate. She lost to Steve Daines.

      1980 Western District Democratic Primary
      Last Name First Name Votes Percent
      Hand Bill 18,620 17.2
      Williams Pat 56,532 52.2
      Dunham Ken 7,584 7.0
      McDonald John 15,817 14.6
      Morris Suzanne 9,735 9.0

      2012 Democratic Primary
      Gillan Kim 25,077 31.2
      Rankin Sam 9,382 11.7
      Smith Diane 12,618 15.7
      Strohmaier Dave 11,366 14.1
      Stutz Robert 2,586 3.2
      Ward Jason 4,559 5.7
      Wilmer Franke 14,836 18.4

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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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