Montana Special Elections for US Senator Vacancies Initiative (2014)
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Attorney James Brown, who submitted the initiative for review, said, “The recent appointment of Walsh as a senator with no input from the public or a vote prompted me to do this.” Gov. Steve Bullock (D) appointed Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) as US Senator to fill the seat being vacated by Max Baucus (D) on February 7, 2014.
Former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D), ran against US Senator John Walsh (D) for the Democratic nomination for the November 4, 2014 US Senate election, called Walsh's appointment "an unprecedented political maneuver, our highest elected officials selected a candidate for the United States Senate, a decision made for Montanans in Washington, D.C." He continued, "Last Nov. 5, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called me and told me to drop out of the Senate race, because they had already chosen their candidate. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee didn’t want a primary. I refused, and life since then has been a long, cold winter in politics, in which I learned the dark side of power and money in politics. The insiders broke the non-endorsement tradition, and our party’s endorsed candidate is now the U.S. Senator – without any input from Montana voters. Is this what we want? I don’t think so. I believe every Montanan has a right to a voice and a vote in their own elections."
Path to the ballot
Supporters needed to collect valid signatures from ten percent of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial general election, including ten percent of the voters in each of the forty legislative house districts. In total, supporters needed to collect 48,349 valid signatures. Those signatures needed to be submitted by the petition drive deadline on June 20, 2014.
Jim Brown said that supporters were unable to obtain enough signatures by the deadline.
- Montana Secretary of State, "2014 Proposed Ballot Issues," accessed March 6, 2014
- Great Falls Tribune, "Montana attorney submits initiative to fill Senate vacancies by special election," March 5, 2014
- Washington Post, "Montana governor appoints Lt. Gov. John Walsh to Senate," February 7, 2014
- Missoulian, "Senate seat is Montana’s to decide," March 21, 2014
- Flathead Beacon, "Have the People Elect Senators in Special Elections," March 27, 2014
- Missoulian, "Only 1 group supporting Montana initiative confident as signature deadline nears," June 13, 2014
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