Considering the mess Governor Schweitzer is likely to leave the next Montana Governor, each day that another candidate enters the GOP race for the seat, I’m a little surprised. Most recently, Neil Livingstone announced his official candidacy. Although Livingstone is a frequent terrorism analyst on cable news programs, he has little name recognition outside of the Republican party in Montana.
The list includes, in order of filing date:
- Corey Stapleton, former state senate minority leader. Former naval officer who was raised in Great Falls, currently a financial planner in Billings. Was instrumental in future development of Otter Creek Coal and seeks to build a medical school in Montana.
- Ken Miller, former state senator and chair of the Montana Republican Party. Lives in Laurel, owns furniture store. Believes we need to stand with AZ Governor Brewer to take a stand on illegal immigration and believes education is the most important issue facing our state currently.
- Rick Hill, former US Congressman who retired due to eye health problems, most recently working as a lobbyist. Believes he is a “fixer” and one of the original members of the tea party, before it had a name. His ability to “work a room” is legendary according to Mr Hill.
- James O’Hara, Chouteau County Commissioner, owns The Daily Grind bakery in Great Falls. Wants to develop wind and bio-based energy sources.
- Neil Livingstone, D.C. based international terrorism expert and former intelligence officer who was raised in Helena. Although his business will keep him in D.C., he will be in Montana frequently to campaign and elaborate upon his “novel approach” to spurring national resources.
It will remain to be seen how Livingstone fits into this group of candidates. Rick Hill spokesman Chuck Denowh already released a statement downplaying his potential. ““No one can match Rick Hill’s record of delivering for Montana,” he said. “There really is a differentiation there. Livingstone has an impressive resume, but I don’t see he has a lot of applicable experience to be a governor.”
We also have Ronald J Lassle, who hasn’t declared a party and Dave Wanzenried, the lone democrat in the race thus far. Ron Vandevender has a website listing himself as a liberatarian candidate, but he has not filed his intentions with the Montana political practices office at this time.
I’m headed on a much-needed vacation with my family in next few days, so I will be having guests blogging in my absence. I trust everyone will enjoy some new points of view.