Marnee Banks turned our attention to the U.S. House race over the weekend. “If freshmen U.S. Representative Steve Daines (R-MT) decides to run for the U.S. Senate and wins, it leaves his seat in the House wide open. There are many names being tossed out in Democratic circles as to who might run,” reports Banks.
Among those names are John Lewis, Kim Gillan, Amanda Curtis, and Franke Wilmer. Denise Juneau has also indicated that she is open to a run if she decides not to run for the U.S. Senate. However, a Juneau candidacy would mean losing a powerful progressive leader at OPI.
John Lewis recently met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s leadership and everything seems to indicate that national Democrats would quickly back his candidacy. Lewis is a lifelong Montanan and a highly experienced and well-connected political veteran. Lewis currently serves as a senior aid to Senator Max Baucus. Many political observers speculate that Lewis would be able to tap into massive political and fundraising networks within Montana and around the country – something a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House hasn’t had since Nancy Keenan ran in 2000. “He would have a ready-made campaign apparatus on Day One,” says one Democratic Political Operative.
Kim Gillan was the Democratic nominee in 2012. Despite winning a crowded primary, Gillan lost to Congressman Daines by 10 points. Gillan’s candidacy serves as a cautionary tale: a crowded primary helps no one (the Republican candidates for Governor in 2012 would tell you the same thing). Hopefully Democrats can avoid the same mistake this time around. Franke Wilmer was also a victim of the 2012 Democratic primary. She came in second behind Gillan with
most of her support coming from Gallatin County.
Amanda Curtis is another very promising choice for the House. A favorite of this blog, Amanda Curtis (D-Butte) is a strong progressive dedicated to the working people of Montana. After just one term, she has already made an impressive name for herself and appears to have a very bright future in front of her. However, sources close to this blog (and Curtis) have informed us that at this time Curtis is leaning towards “no.”
Marnee Banks reports that Champ Edmunds, Jon Sonju, Matt Rosendale, Scott Reichner, and Ryan Zinke are the most likely candidates on the Republican side.
Montana’s U.S. House seat is often forgotten. We’re glad to see Banks shining a light on the race for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat.