Ron Paul’s name will appear on the Montana presidential ballot as the Constitution Party nominee, along with running mate Michael Peroutka, according to a spokesman at the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
Jonathan Martin, state chairman of the Constitution Party of Montana confirmed that he submitted the paperwork for Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy Friday. The Montana Constitution Party recently disaffiliated itself with the national Constitution Party, which is supporting Chuck Baldwin, a conservative radio talk show host and Baptist minister in Florida. Ballot Access News first broke the story about Paul’s name on the Montana ballot.
Martin said he simply felt Paul was the most qualified, experienced candidate with views most closely in line with the Constitution – though he acknowledged neither Baldwin nor Paul are likely to win the state.
“From a pragmatic point of view, neither one of them are likely to win,” Martin said. “If there is anything we can do to further an interest in the Constitution and keep this issue alive, it would be good.”
Martin also stressed that Paul did not ask to be put on the Montana ballot, but that the former Republican candidate and Texas congressman did not object to having his name there either.
“Ron Paul did not seek it, but he did not oppose it,” Martin said. “He allowed it.”
Paul’s name on the ballot could siphon votes from Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In Montana’s June 3 primary, Paul took 20,606 votes, well short of McCain’s 72,791, but still a sizeable chunk of Republican voters. An additional 2,333 Montanans voted for neither, choosing Republican “no preference.”
Martin said he would not be concerned if putting Paul on the ballot harmed McCain’s candidacy.
“If it would affect that, it wouldn’t bother us too much,” Martin added. “We wanted to put the best candidate that was out there on the ballot.”