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Montana Secretary of State election, 2012

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The Montana secretary of state election took place on November 6, 2012. The primary election took place on June 5, 2012.

Incumbent Democrat Linda McCulloch was first elected in 2008 as Montana's first female secretary of state. She filed for re-election to a second term on March 1, 2012, after which she reminded the press about her favorable spending record, and pledged to continue her efforts to simplify the voting process. Even against a swelling tide of conservatives targeting illegal immigrant voters, she stated, “Onerous ID requirements, arcane restrictions on voter registration and limited access to absentee ballots are nothing more than deliberate efforts to disenfranchise voters.”[1]

McCulloch was unopposed in her party's primary, but faced a serious general election challenger in her predecessor, Republican candidate Brad Johnson, whom she narrowly defeated for the seat in 2008.

Johnson served one term as secretary, before McCulloch, the former Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, took office in 2009. He since ran unsuccessfully for Public Service Commission in 2010, worked as a consultant, and on an alternative-energy development venture.[2] Upon announcing his candidacy last October, Johnson said his campaign would not be concentrating heavily on criticizing McCulloch's administration, but instead "it's going to be about the successes we had in the first term and continuing to realize the vision I had for the future of the office."[2]

Johnson overcame Helena-based engineer Scott Aspenlieder, Drew Turiano, a real estate investor and science fiction author, and Missoula accountant Patty Lovaas in the Republican primary to get a rematch with McCulloch.[3]

There was one Libertarian candidate in the race: criminologist and civil liberties activist Roger Roots. Roots filed to run just in time to make the March 12 deadline.[4]


General Election

Montana Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLinda McCulloch Incumbent 51.4% 245,024
     Republican Brad Johnson 45.1% 214,976
     Libertarian Roger Roots 3.5% 16,622
Total Votes 476,622
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.


Montana Secretary of State Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Johnson 55.1% 66,148
Scott Aspenlieder 22.7% 27,204
Patty Lovaas 15.5% 18,652
Drew Turiano 6.7% 8,074
Total Votes 120,078
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.

General Election

Primary Election

Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary candidates

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary candidates

Libertarian candidates

  • Roger Roots, a Livingston criminologist, professor and civil liberties activist.

General election

Montana Secretary of State
Poll Linda McCulloch Brad JohnsonRoger RootsUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(October 8-10, 2012)
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research
(October 29-31, 2012)
AVERAGES 44% 42.5% 5% 8.5% +/-3.8 681
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
1 Due dates for reports
2 Candidates


Linda McCulloch

Linda McCulloch Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Primary FirstApril 10 2012$43,500.47$4,410.00$(1,248.88)$46,661.59
Pre-PrimaryMay 21 2012$46,661.59$1,845.00$(544.85)$47,961.23
Pre-Primary #2May 31 2012$47,961.74$1,070.00$(944.51)$48,087.23
Post-PrimaryJune 25 2012$48,087.23$75.00$(48,162.23)$0.00
Running totals

Scott Aspenlieder

Scott Aspenlieder Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Primary FirstApril 10 2012$37,340.81$8,705.00$(25,678.38)$40,358.43
Pre-PrimaryMay 19 2012$40,388.43$13,545.00$(48,601.71)$5,331.72
Pre-Primary #2May 31 2012$5,366.72$6,120.00$(6,208.30)$5,278.42
Post-PrimaryJune 25 2012$5,278.42$1,875.00$(6,996.42)$157.00
Running totals

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Primary FirstApril 10 2012$1,596.07$1,375.00$(2,476.41)$494.66
Pre-Primary #2May 31 2012$719.48$435.20$(700.00)$494.66
Post-PrimaryJune 25 2012$454.48$620.00$(21.69)$1,052.79
Running totals

Drew Turiano

Drew Turiano Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Primary FirstApril 10 2012$11,141.51$0.00$(2,086.81)$9,054.70
Pre-PrimaryMay 21 2012$9,054.70$3,240.56$(11,116.70)$1,178.56
Pre-Primary #2May 31 2012$1,178.56$3,240.56$(0.00)$1,178.56
Post-PrimaryJune 25 2012$1,178.56$0.00$(1,178.56)$0.00
Running totals

Patty Lovaas

Lovaas received minimal contributions during the first two reporting periods. Her campaign's treasurer signed a statement of waver to certify the candidate's forgoing report of campaign finances, in accordance with Title 13, chapter 37 of the Montana Code.[5]

Patty Lovaas Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary #2May 29$62.00$1,050.00$(886.19)$225.81
Post-PrimaryJune 25 2012$225.81$50.00$(275.81)$0.00
Running totals

Roger Roots

Roots received $0.00 in contributions during the first four reporting periods.[6]

Key dates

  • Administrative deadlines are at close of business (5:00) unless otherwise noted.
Deadline Event
Jan. 12 - Mar. 12 Candidate filing period
May 7 Voter registration for primary election
June 4, Noon Requests received for absentee ballot for primary election
June 5 Primary election
Aug. 13 Deadline for candidates to withdrawal general election candidacy
Aug. 23 Secretary of State certifies candidates on ballot
Nov. 5 Requests received for absentee ballot for general election
Nov. 6 General election
Dec. 3 Official results certified

See also


External links

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