Republican Representative Scott Reichner of Bigfork is the latest Republican to consider a run for U.S. Senate, sources close to the Republican Caucus confirm. Reichner’s secret legislative agenda is evidence of his interest in Max Baucus’ senate seat.
Reichner is an ALEC pawn and a fierce opponent of expanding Medicaid, despite the economic and health benefits.
Reichner may be showing his hand when it comes to his interest in running for the U.S. Senate with a piece of legislation he is thinking of introducing during the Legislative Session. Reichner’s legislation would create a top two primary system in Montana, similar to the system in place in Washington State. Essentially, a top two primary narrows the number of candidates in an election to only two. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the General Election, regardless of their party affiliation.
What does that mean? Using 2012 as an example, every Montanan would have voted in a non-partisan U.S. Senate primary, which would have included Tester, Rehberg, Teske, and Libertarian candidates. The top two vote getters would have moved on to the November election. It’s most likely that Tester and Rehberg would have been the top two and any other candidate would have been sidelined.
By implementing a top two primary system in Montana, Republicans are hoping to disenfranchise Libertarians and the more conservative wing of their party. Reichner’s thinking goes like this: “if I run for Senate, I don’t want to have to worry about those pesky Libertarians – so, why not just make them irrelevant?”
Capitol insiders have confirmed that Reichner is considering introducing a top two primary piece of legislation.
That’s not very independent and that’s not very Montanan.
Reichner now joins Edmunds, Kerns, Essman, and Zinke as possible candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
We’re almost two whole years away from the election. Who else might consider throwing their hat into the ring?