The field of U.S. House candidates swelled over the weekend and is shaping up to be the inverse of 2012, which featured a crowded Democratic primary. The crowded primary was in part to blame for Daines’ overwhelming victory in a year when both Tester and Bullock won their respective races.
The GOP Primary is already shaping up to be crowded and ugly, which is all great news for John Lewis.
On Friday, Republican Drew Turiano announced his entrance into the race. Turiano is a failed gubernatorial candidate and candidate for Secretary of State. He is the fifth Republican to throw his hat in the ring. In addition to being a xenophobe and homophobe, Turiano signed Derek Skees infamous Crackpot Pledge last cycle. He is gunning to be “the conservative candidate,” but the competition for that title is stiff.
Brad Johnson, a failed candidate for the PSC and Secretary of State, also confirmed he’s running. Johnson had a run in with the law – that is, he was arrested last cycle for driving on a Montana highway while incredibly intoxicated. A very public DUI sunk his bid for PSC.
Then you have Ryan Zinke, Corey Stapleton, and Matt Rosendale, who have been dubbed “The Three Stooges” of the Republican Party.
Ryan Zinke, a failed candidate for LT. Governor, is facing ethics questions for his questionable involvement with a political action committee he formed and chaired. Zinke has faced criticism in Montana and nationally for financially benefiting from the seedy PAC, which has already launched an attack on Republican Corey Stapleton, which may signal that Zinke and his team view Stapleton as the frontrunner for the nomination.
The Montana Commission of Political Practices has accused Corey Stapleton of violating election law and illegally coordinating with the right-wing American Tradition Partnership. Stapleton is another failed gubernatorial candidate.
Finally, we have Matt Rosendale, a Maryland transplant who is running against death panels… enough said.
This crowded, highly charged, and uber-partisan primary is sure to help John Lewis and make a Democratic victory in 2014 all the more attainable.