Green Party Candidate Sues For Inclusion On Special Congressional Election Ballot
39 year-old Thomas Breck of Missoula is the Green Party candidate for the Congressional seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, who was recently confirmed as Secretary of the Interior.
Breck, the father of three, is a carpenter and a student at the University of Montana. He explains why the Green Party has had to sue to be included on the special election ballot set for May 25.
"For 20 years I was a carpenter, and I became a displaced worker and went back to school," Breck began. "Then, this last November, I went to Standing Rock and what I saw there appalled me and motivated me to become involved in a way that I never had before. I became a Bernie (Sanders) delegate and saw the Democratic convention be rigged before my eyes, and saw that the Millennials and the people with the most at stake as far as the future goes were being marginalized."
Breck explained why he joined the Green Party.
"The Green Party doesn't take any corporate money," he said. "I want to be a representative of the people, and right now the people aren't being represented in D.C. The businesses, the corporations and industries are being represented very well. The stock market is at 20,000 and is doing phenomenally well right now, but I know many working families that are struggling to feed their families. I don't have any corporate master, the only ones I'm beholden to are the people."
Breck said the path to getting on the special election ballot was heavily weighted in favor of the three major parties, Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.
"The way the law is written, we would have had to have gathered over 15,000 signatures in just a manner of days," he said. "It was unreasonable to expect a minor party to have been able to get that done, so we're having to fight in court. We filed a lawsuit last week in Missoula and it was assigned to Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls. An injustice anywhere is an affront to justice everywhere, and that mindset is at the heart of what this is all about."
No matter what happens in the lawsuit, Breck said he has launched a write-in campaign across the state.
The candidates that will appear on the May 25 ballot include Republican Greg Gianforte, Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks. It is still unclear if the election will be a by traditional polling place or a mail-in ballot only.