Alabama Republicans faced a no-win situation in the U.S. Senate special election earlier this month. Extremist, out-of-state forces had swooped into this reliably conservative state in the primary, to help nominate the morally repugnant Roy Moore.
As a result of this unelectable candidate’s nomination, a liberal Democrat will now be representing one of the most conservative states in the nation. Here in Montana, we cannot make the same mistake. We have a great opportunity to replace our liberal senator with a senator who will represent all Montanans. This is important for future Supreme Court picks, repealing Obamacare, and reducing regulations on small businesses.
We Montana Republicans need to nominate the right candidate for our U.S. Senate race. One who will bring people together. One who has strong Montana roots. One who is supported by Montana leaders across the state, and one who has years of practice looking at both sides of an issue and making hard decisions.
In Alabama, the fact that Roy Moore was a terrible candidate did not matter to Steve Bannon. Any candidate who shares Bannon’s warped view of conservatism is welcomed with open arms and receives full financial support. Moore was chosen against the president’s wishes as the GOP candidate, over the common-sense incumbent Sen. Luther Strange.
Instead of a strong conservative in the Senate like Luther Strange, we are stuck with a liberal from a red state who will oppose the Trump agenda at every turn … all because a U.S. Senate race was hijacked by Steve Bannon. We as Republicans cannot allow this to continue. Following the election in Alabama, it is clear that candidates who have kissed the Bannon ring cannot win. If we continue to allow Bannon’s candidates to win primaries, we might as well hand Congress over to the Democrats.
We have a very important race in Montana in 2018. The very liberal Sen. Jon Tester is up for his third term. Tester has voted for gun control, opposed tax breaks on hardworking families, supports sanctuary cities, and was the deciding vote for Obamacare. We cannot be another red state that is represented by a liberal Democrat.
If we as Republicans decide to support a Bannon-backed candidate we are effectively ceding another Senate seat to the Democrats, just as Alabama did. If you support conservative ideals and oppose leftist policies, please vote against Bannon-backed candidates who cannot win general elections. Look for the candidate who can win and represent Montana well.
Will Deschamps is the former Montana Republican state party chair.