Thursday, June 13, 2024

Montana Governor's Election and Senate Race for 2024

Montana's office of governor, lieutenant governor, and the  U.S. senate seat currently occupied by Senator Jon Tester are up for election in 2024. Montana is considered a safe Republican stronghold.  The Republican primary for governor totaled 78,667 votes. The Democrat primary for governor totaled 54,402 votes.  Democratic Party Senator Tester has become an anomaly among statewide elected positions in Montana.

Republican Governor Greg Gianforte is popular. He is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment in his words and actions and is almost certainly going to win.

Ryan Busse, the Democratic candidate for governor, was an executive at Kimber. He wrote a book titled "Gunfight" which blames firearms manufacturers for crimes committed with guns. In an interview on "The Trace" it seems his wife had tremendous influence in blaming firearms manufacturers for crimes. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass murder in Florida, she blamed the NRA. From the trace:

 Six years later, after another school shooting, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, Sara’s anger boiled over. She posted on Facebook that she hoped people would back their prayers for Florida with action: “The ONLY way this will EVER change is if the NRA goes up in FLAMES!”

Busse resigned from Kimber and became a proponent of restrictive legislation aimed at gun owners. For example

 In the summer of 2020, Busse accepted a position as an adviser to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and this past  summer, he was hired as a senior adviser to the gun violence prevention group Giffords. He wrote the book, he said, because Americans deserve to know how the country got so polarized, and to encourage the ocean of silent moderates that he believes are out there to find their voices.

Busse testified, as a technical expert, for the state of California in their effort to ban standard capacity magazines. He puts forward the idea that manufacturers convince customers to purchase products, instead of customer demand driving manufacturers to produce the products customers desire.

The most important race in Montana is the race for the senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Jon Tester. Senator Tester is not a Second Amendment supporter. He was rated C- by the NRA in the 2018 election. In the 2018 election, he retained his senate seat with 50.3% of the vote. The Republican candidate received 46.8% of the vote. The Libertarian candidate received 2.9% of the vote. Tester runs in Montana as a "moderate", but supports Democratic party positions in Washington.

In the Democratic primary in 2024, there were 58,064 votes cast in the senate race. In the Republican primary, there were 77,074 votes cast in the senate race.  Tim Sheehy is the Republican candidate facing Jon Tester in November of 2024. The Senate is closely divided. The Montana senate race may decide whether the Republicans or the Democrats control the Senate in 2025.

The Montana Senate race will have enormous resources thrown at it. It will be hotly contested. Senator Jon Tester is one of the most vulnerable senators up for election in 2024, because Montana is strongly Republican.  2024 is presidential election year. Both Donald Trump and Governor Gianforte may have enough coattails to elect a Republican senator from Montana, in spite of the enormous advantage incumbency bestows on a candidate.

©2024 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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