Potential Would Be #MTSen Candidates Now Complaining of GOP Kingmaking
Helena – As the Montana GOP Senate primary descends into a messy proxy battle between Sen. Steve Daines and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and their chosen candidates, potential would-be candidates are now complaining about the Washington GOP establishment playing king makers, instead of promoting a healthy primary contest.
Former Reagan appointee and veteran Gary Carlson, who had been rumored to be mulling a run, had some things to say in a letter-to-the-editor over the weekend.
- Daines and Zinke’s implied support of candidates in the race showed they were trying to “pre-empt the process by not allowing the voters to decide who should win and who should lose.”
- When these kingmakers weigh in, Carlson wrote, it “verifies that the powers that be want to make the decision for the people,” forcing others, like himself, to either drop out of consider running as an independent.
Daines has shown support for Rosendale, recently hosting him during one of Rosendale’s multiple recent trips to Washington, while Zinke’s wife, Lola, boosted Troy Downing’s campaign when she was named campaign chair last week.
Read Carlson’s letter here.
More in GOP in disarray:
- While Steve Daines hosted Rosendale in DC, Lola Zinke is now Troy Downing’s campaign chair
- Downing called Fagg “another lawyer,” adding, “do we really want to send another lawyer to Washington.”
- Downing joined Fagg in jabbing Rosendale, saying Rosendale was too appealing to the “radical far right” to win a general election.
- Fagg took a jab at Rosendale’s residency
- Ronald Murray said he was a “little bit disappointed” with Rosendale running for office again. “Would’ve really liked to see you stay in there and complete your job that you’re hired for,” Murray said. “Especially since you seem to run for almost everything that comes available.”
- Rosendale continues to rack up endorsements from Washington special interests
- Former state Rep. Matthew Monforton called Troy Downing and Russell Fagg “uninspiring establishmentarians.”
- Murray on Troy Downing: “We don’t need the billionaire from Big Sky.”
- Murray on Matt Rosendale: “We don’t need the guy that’s already been elected for a position in, in Helena, that’s trying to jump ship and go become a senator instead of being our state auditor.”
- Murray on Al Olszewski: “We don’t need another doctor in there that’s getting money from PACs across the state of Montana.”
- Murray on Russell Fagg: “We don’t need a judge out of Billings to represent us who’s been on the government take for 20 years being a district judge and is being supported by K Street lobbyists
- A Rosendale matchup would be a “cakewalk” for Tester, said one Montana Republican unaffiliated with any of the GOP candidates
- GOP operative on Montana Senate primary: “The more crowded this is, the worse off it’s going to get.”
- GOP not impressed with Rosendale, or field: “If you’re the most well-known in a pack of people that no one knows, does that really make you the guy to watch?”
- A Dem familiar with the state: “They are on tier three.”