The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


7 April 2012

Rollan Roberts campaigns aggressively — should Bruce Tutvedt be worried?


The conventional wisdom is that Bruce Tutvedt, the Kalispell Republican representing Senate District 3, will stomp the toe jam out of newcomer Rollan Roberts II in the June primary. Tutvedt, goes the wisdom, is so well known, so well liked, and so much a native of the Flathead as to be de facto local royalty, that only a lightning bolt to the head while plowing during a thunderstorm could deny him a second term. That was my initial take when Roberts filed for the SD-3 GOP primary.

I still think Tutvedt will prevail, but I now think Roberts is mounting a serious challenge that Tutvedt would be foolish to ignore. I find few indications that Tutvedt is campaigning, let alone campaigning hard. His campaign website has not been updated since 2008, yet he filed for re-election on 12 January, the first day of filing. That’s a sure sign of complacency in the age of the internet.

Meanwhile, Roberts, a man skilled in the art of mass marketing, is making himself known. He’s running ads on Facebook, a smart move. His website is up-to-date. And today, he had a highly visible, 4-corner, 7-person, honk-and-wave at the intersection of Highway 93 and Hutton Ranch Plaza. He knows how to get his name out, and he’s doing a good job of it.