Corey Stapleton Announces His Bid to Lose Another Race for Governor

Photo from MT SoS web page

I’m not sure that I have been happier about a candidate announcing a run for office than today’s announcement from Corey Stapleton that he will, once again, run for and lose a bid for governor. It’s a huge win for Democrats, guaranteeing an ugly Republican primary in the governor’s race, and opening up the Secretary of State’s office for some excellent Democratic candidates who won’t have to run against an incumbent, an advantage even when the incumbent is as incompetent as Stapleton has been.

The announcement was classic Stapleton: in violation of state law, he sent out his announcement on state letterhead and using a state account. That’s hardly a surprise, as Stapleton has followed the Rosendale model of public service, using his state office and its resources to further his political ambitions from the outset of his term. Whether it was raising false claims about election fraud to increase his conservative credibility, using the state seal to further his brand, spending thousands of state dollars to produce videos of himself, sending out partisan and self-promoting e-mails by the tens of thousands to Montana business owners, or turning his official Secretary of State web page into a monument of ego and self-indulgence, Stapleton has made his ambitions clear from the outset.

All of that deserves investigation. Stapleton has soiled the office of the Secretary of State with his partisan pandering, wild accusations, and self-promotion. While it’s a tremendous relief that he won’t be in charge of overseeing any elections after his inevitable primary loss, it’s astonishing that Stapleton thinks the best answer to being excoriated by the press and mocked by the public for his failure to do his current job is to seek higher office, and it may be the only path forward for a Secretary of State who has so failed the public trust.

Ultimately, it’s that failure that most disqualifies Stapleton from the office of Governor.

In his short tenure at the Secretary’s office, Stapleton has:

Perhaps, in this Trumpian era of bankrupting your way to being a billionaire and almost total disregard for the truth, Stapleton is a perfect Republican candidate for governor. He’s demonstrated that he’s incompetent, believes that government service is a means for personal gain, and can’t seem to tell the truth about almost anything.

And I couldn’t be happier that he’s decided to run.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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