In the sea of advertisements, news stories, and blog posts about the upcoming election, it’s inevitable that some races will absolutely slip under the radar of most voters, perhaps none more obviously than the race for Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court. And letting it slip would be a real shame because the more people know about the two candidates running for the office, the more obvious it will be that Rex Renk should win the election.
Renk has served for 23 years in the office of the Clerk and has the experience, temperament, and knowledge to run the office efficiently and effectively for the public. Renk’s list of endorsements demonstrates that he’s got the professionalism and ability for the job, with six former Montana Supreme Court justices backing his bid, along with a list of some of the most accomplished attorneys, professors, and county clerks across the state backing his candidacy.
He’ll do what the Clerk of the Supreme Court should: run the office as a means of serving the public and the court, just as Ed Smith has done for longer than anyone in Montana politics has done.
It’s not just that Renk is eminently qualified; it’s concerning that his opponent Bowen Greenwood, both lacks the experience necessary for the job and is likely to politicize it. A look at his campaign page neither lists any qualifications or experience for the position nor any endorsements from the legal community attesting to his ability to efficiently run the office. Instead, Greenwood focuses on his experience as an e-book author and enthusiasm for outdoor activities, both excellent pursuits, neither relevant to the job he’s seeking.
Perhaps of more interest is what Greenwood doesn’t reveal: his longstanding political work as the Executive Director of the Montana Republican Party and his tenure as the Comms director for the Montana Family Foundation. Greenwood served as the GOP Director for over four years, during which time Greenwood defended the criminalization of homosexuality, oversaw the illicit $500,000 donation to Rick Hill from the Montana GOP, and advocated on behalf of Denny Rehberg’s qualifications for office, among other inexplicable and indefensible acts.
He’s a pure partisan—and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that—it makes him the wrong candidate for the task of the Clerk.
Perhaps even more troubling, though, was Greenwood’s next gig as the Communications Director for the Montana Family Foundation. The Montana Family Foundation, as readers of this blog certainly know, is an aggressively political organization that hides the sources of funding it relies on in its mission to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, argues against public schools, and works to eliminate women’s access to reproductive health and freedom. They support hateful rhetoric against transgender children, release garbage polls and advocacy messages to personal enrich their President, and supported bigoted, hateful legislation against Muslims and refugees in our state.
It’s hard to conclude that someone who would not only work for, but speak for, an organization like the Montana Family Foundation has the judgment and independence necessary for this important job.
This race is one of those simple choices, between experience and inexperience, professionalism and partisanship. I hope you’ll support Rex Renk—and let your friends know just how clear this choice is.