Serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis. © James Conner.


10 March 2014

What happened on the last day of filing

Next week, I’ll start looking at the elections in depth, concentrating on legislative contests. In the meantime, here’ what happened today as of 1800 MDT. I’ve provided links to the candidates’ websites when possible, but most last minute filers have made last minute decisions to run and are not prepared with campaign biographies, publicity photographs, and websites.

Montana and Flathead legislative

Champ Edmunds and Susan Cundiff filed today for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Edmunds is a state legislator from Missoula. Cundiff, also from Missoula, works for the School of Business Administration. She’s also an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International, a notary, and a sales associate at Victoria’s Secret. I suspect she’s running to publicize her business interests. Neither candidate is a threat to Rep. Steve Daines.

Roger Root, the Livingston, MT, based Ph.D and criminologist, filed for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian. He’ll draw at least two to three percent of the vote, and give Republicans heartburn. Roots ran for Montana Secretary of State in 2012, receiving 3.5 percent of the vote in a contest won by Democrat Linda McCulloch with 51.4 percent of the vote.

Sen. John Walsh formally filed for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, listing his email address as That email handle sounds forced, but it also serves to identify people who obtained his email address from the Secretary of State’s filing list. Also vying for the Democratic nomination are rancher Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger, the 77-year-old erstwhile Republican and Lt. Governor John.

Libertarian Mike Fellows of Missoula filed for the U.S. House. This helps Democrat John Lewis and probably infuriates the five Republicans — Ryan Zinke, Elsie Arntzen, Corey Stapleton, Matt Rosendale, and Drew Turiano — seeking that nomination. Rogue Democrat John Driscoll did not withdraw from the Democratic primary, where’s he’s trying to sabotage the candidacy of John Lewis.

Longtime Democratic stalwart Roxanna Brothers filed for Kalispell’s House District 7. So did Alex Schaeffer and Catherine Henderson. Diane Taylor filed for HD-9, and Melanie Knadler for HD-4.

In Bigfork, Daniel S. King filed for the Democratic nomination for Senate District 5. And state Rep. Scott Reichner withdrew from the Republican primary instead of challenging former state senator Bob Keenan.

My congratulations to the Flathead Democratic Party for fielding candidate in all legislative districts. It’s never an easy job, and it’s especially difficult in midterm elections.

Flathead County offices

Commissioner. District 1 incumbent Cal Scott filed for re-election. He’ll face Phil Mitchell in the Republican primary. Mitchell is the more conservative man. In the Democratic primary for CD-1, Jack Garlitz of Whitefish squares off against Stacey L. Schnebel of Coram.

Updated. No other Democrat filed for a county office, not even for County Superintendent of School. That’s strange because Democrats fancy themselves as the education party. Incumbent Republican FCSS Marcia Sheffles filed for re-election, then withdrew, leaving Jack Eggensperger as the sole candidate for the office. Why this should be an elective office completely escapes me.

Four Republicans have filed for the Flathead County Clerk and Recorder position being vacated by the retiring Paula Robinson: Debbie Rhodes Pierson, Corey L. Pilsch, Rebekah Eslick Savelle, and Char Sherman. This is another office that ought to be filled on the basis of merit and professional skills, not on the basis of gladhanding abilities.