After years of absorbing Republican led tax relief programs for out-of-state corporations and absentee land owners, Butte, Montana’s Republican voters are ready for a Green leaning Republican. Fiscally conservative and locally fixated, this is where the Greens and state focused Republicans meet.
Bob Kelleher has run as both a Democrat and a Green in the past. His support of gun-control is a little out of step with the state’s Republicans, but his emphasis on local control and local care holds interest for the working class of Montana. He goes up against Democratic incumbent Max Baucus, a five-term U.S. Senator who had more than $6 million in the bank in May and has raised more than $10 million since he was last re-elected in 2002. Kelleher criticizes Baucus for not challenging Bush on his tax cuts or at least bringing something home for social services.
The Great Falls Tribune ran the results yesterday. With less than $5000 in his pocket, he’d have to do some amazing grassroots dancing to be seen or heard.
According to Ballot Access News, Kelleher, an attorney sued the Montana University System in 2004 for excluding Libertarian and Green nominees from the Gubernatorial race debate. The case lost in Montana Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear it. Kelleher was the Green Party nominee in that election, but he modestly named the lawsuit Jones v Montana University System, placing the Libertarian nominee first in the caption. Kelleher polled 1.88% of the vote for Governor as the Green nominee in 2004. He had been the Green nominee for U.S. Senate in 2002, polling 2.34%.Greens lost ballot access after 2004, forcing Kelleher to forge a path amongst the major two parties.
For more on the story:
Great Falls Tribune: “Kelleher wins Upset Victory in Republican US Senate Primary”
Daily Show (2002): Story on Green vs. Libertarian candidates