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Green Party Activist Wins GOP Senate Primary in Montana:

Via Richard Winger's Ballot Access News comes this interesting story.

Perennial candidate Bob Kelleher won an upset victory in Montana's Republican U.S. Senate primary early Wednesday, . . .

Kelleher, an 85-year-old attorney from Butte, will challenge Democrat incumbent Max Baucus in November. Baucus is 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, who has run for office in the state at least 13 times, has not filed any campaign finance reports, meaning he has not raised or spent more than $5,000 in the race.

The new nominee's views are far from the mainstream Republican party in Montana. He has run as both a Democratic and a Green Party candidate, and he has advocated more gun control. . . .

Kirk Bushman, an industrial facilities designer from Billings, and former Montana House Majority Leader Michael Lange were thought to be the front-runners in the Republican primary. But with 96 percent of precincts reporting at 1 a.m. Wednesday, Kelleher had a wide lead over both of them with 36 percent of the vote. Lange had 23 percent, and Bushman had 21 percent.

There is some speculation that Kelleher won simply because, having run for office so many times before, he had high name recognition among primary voters in a crowded field.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on Montana's "Republican" Senate Nominee:
  2. Green Party Activist Wins GOP Senate Primary in Montana:
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More on Montana's "Republican" Senate Nominee:

Bob Kelleher was the surprise winner in Montana's Republican Senate primary this past week. He's a former Democrat who also ran for office on the Green Party ticket, though the Green Party has disavowed him. The Missoulian has more on him here.

For the last 44 years, Kelleher has run for office 16 times and lost 15. His only taste of victory came in 1971, when he was elected a delegate to Montana's Constitutional Convention. There, he helped replace the state's century-old territorial constitution with one of the most progressive governing documents in the nation. Kelleher's political passion then, as now, is unique - and largely unpopular: He wants to replace the U.S. Senate, House and presidency with a parliament.

Under a parliamentary system, citizens vote for parties, not individual candidates. The party with the most votes selects a prime minister, who serves as a kind of president, from the ranks of the legislative branch. Under a parliament, Kelleher said Wednesday, you can't have a president of one party playing the blame game with a Congress controlled by the opposing party while the nation's real problems and real people wait endlessly for real solutions.

"There's no more passing the buck," he said. "The party in power is responsible for everything that goes wrong, as well as everything that goes right. Now, nobody is responsible, really."

Such broad representation would free America to deal with the problems that have literally been known to bring tears to Kelleher's eyes: He is passionate about eradicating poverty. He believes health care is a right of all citizens and the government should pay for it with tax dollars. He believes bad trade policies have shipped American jobs overseas, while bad tax policy has created a startling dichotomy between rich and poor that threatens democracy itself. He believes government exists to serve the common good, not necessarily private interests, and that taxation, if spent wisely, is a solution to America's problems, not the cause.

Kelleher said he intends to campaign on those very issues, along with his long-held pro-life stance, in the general election against Baucus.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on Montana's "Republican" Senate Nominee:
  2. Green Party Activist Wins GOP Senate Primary in Montana:
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