Earlier, we wrote about legislative candidates vying to fill Ryan Zinke’s soon-to-be vacated U.S. House seat.
While the eventual winner may indeed come from the Legislature, maneuvering from outside the Capitol chambers has brought far more intrigue, especially recently. Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer all but took himself out of the running, endorsing political newcomer Rob Quist yesterday. From Troy Carter in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
Nothing against the other candidates running, but I think we need a different kind of person in Congress,” Schweitzer said of Quist. “He hasn’t been contemplating running for Congress for 30 years; he’s been contemplating what it is that’s special about Montana and the people who live in it, and he’s been writing it down, writing it in verse, and singing that song.
Will Democrats rally behind Quist, or will establishment insiders from the Helena-Butte-Missoula corridor steer the party to defeated, retread candidates like Denise Juneau, Jesse Laslovich, Melissa Romano, John Lewis, Amanda Curtis, et. al.? Casey Schreiner and Kelly McCarthy deserve a look, but barring a major GOP scandal, the nomination by Democrats of any conventional candidate will virtually ensure they will lose this election. Now, however, they just might have been gifted the Hail Mary they needed to contend: the chance to embrace a popular entertainer and a political outsider who was not only endorsed by Schweitzer, but who was called and encouraged to run by Schweitzer.