The Montana GOP is going to need a bigger tent to fit all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Yesterday, former state transportation director Jim Lynch announced his candidacy in the already very crowded field. Lynch, who lost a Senate race as a Democrat in 1994 and has been a member of Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer‘s cabinet since 2005 insists he is actually a Republican. In today’s Billings Gazette, he says
“I’m probably like most Montanans,” he said. “Most of my views are Republican. I’m a Republican. I’ve never voted for a Democrat for president in my life.”
Although he claims he is running to “pave the way for economic development”, it appears he simply needs a job after Governor Schweitzer asked him to resign under very questionable circumstances. The governor claimed the DOT’s hiring of Lynch’s daughter potentially violated nepotism laws but rumors have circulated for some time that Lynch was also under investigation for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to buy an airplane, violating Montana’s constitution. Shortly before Lynch resigned, a district judge also ruled that the DOT had violated the Montana Environmental Protection Act in approval of the mega-loads plan with an insufficient environmental assessment. Considering the hiring of his daughter took place four years ago, it does appear there may be more to the story.
Sorry Lynch, I don’t think you are like “most Montanans”. In fact, you may have even more baggage than Rick Hill. Ironically, Lynch was rumored earlier this year to be pondering a Democratic run at Governor, but apparently further fracturing the Republican Party was a preferable path to defeat. Fourteen have filed for candidacy thus far:
–State Sen. Jeff Essmann, Billings. Essmann crafted the unpopular SB 423, which essentially forces medical marijuana patients to seek black market medicine.
–Bob Fanning, Pray. Fanning is an anti-wolf activist.
–Ex-U.S. Rep. Rick Hill, Helena. Ahead in fundraising, behind in morals.
–Neil Livingstone, Helena. Livingstone’s campaign is essentially broke, but he has the means to buy himself name recognition.
–Jim Lynch, Kalispell.
–Ex-Sen. Ken Miller, Laurel. Ken Miller was sent by God to run for Governor….. again. His campaign is rather peculiar.
–County Commissioner Jim O’Hara, Fort Benton.
–Ex-Sen.Minority Leader Corey Stapleton, Billings.
–Drew Turiano, Helena, self-published sci-fi author
Independent: Robert Coate, Bozeman.
Libertarian: Ron Vandervender, Cascade.
No party disclosed yet: Ronald Lassle, Helena.
Is Lynch a Republican or a Democrat? With his “grandiose sense of self-importance”, he perhaps suffers from a cluster B personality disorder, like Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Many afflicted have a shifting morality, they are always ready to shift values when necessary.