Montana Democrats Provide List of Democrat Candidates They Say Are Actually Republicans [Audio]
On paper, more democrats than republicans filed to run by the March 10 filing deadline earlier this week, however Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Director Lauren Caldwell says that may not actually be the case.
"We saw a slate of people file that we had never heard of at the Democratic Party," Caldwell said. "We started to wonder who they were and look into them and we thought well this is great, we have a lot more democrats filing then we were expecting, but in fact it was pretty quickly revealed that these were not democrats."
Caldwell said that at least eight republicans or tea party members are running as Democrats in a handful of counties including Choetau, Sanders, and Gallatin.
"I think what's clear in this particular story is that these folks haven't had a change of heart, they haven't changed their values," Caldwell said. "They still are very much republicans or tea partyists and they are running as democrats specifically to deceive voters and that's the part that I think is completely deplorable."
In Montana, there is no registration restriction that prevents republicans from running as democrats or vice versa, so technically, no election laws have been broken. Below is the list of candidates that the democrats believe are actually opposing party-infiltrators (list provided by Caldwell).
SD9, Choteau-area - David Brownel - primary with Joan Graham (bonafide Democrat) - Llew Jones is the incumbent, facing a Republican primary
SD32, Bozeman - Harry Pennington - primary with Rep. Franke Wilmer (bonafide Democrat) - open seat with a Republican primary
SD34, Belgrade - Michael Comstock - primary with April Bounamici (bonafide Democrat) - open seat with a Republican primary
HD13, Thompson Falls/Trout Creek - Gerald Joseph Cuvillier - primary with Weylin Achatz (bonafide Democrat) - open seat with a Republican primary
HD14, Superior/Plains - Terry Caldwell - primary with Lloyd Wilkins (bonafide Democrat) - Nicholas Schwaderer is the incumbent Republican
HD62, Bozeman - Dane Peeples - primary with Rep. Tom Woods (bonafide Democrat) - seat with one Republican running
HD63, Bozeman - Laura Springer - primary with Zach Brown (bonafide Democrat) - open seat with one Republican running
HD66, Bozeman - Kathy Hollenback - primary with Denise Hayman (bonafide Democrat) - open seat with Republican primar