2008 Montana Primary Election
June 3, 2008 - Montana Primary Election
It’s only May and already this year’s political season has been a wild ride. Who would have expected that our last- in-the-nation primary on June 3rd would bring this level of presidential candidate campaigning to Big Sky country?
The June 3rd primary plays a role in whether Montanans will see a “conservation majority” in the next legislature. Here’s why.
Term limits guarantee that Montana’s Legislature will look very different after the 2008 elections. Of the 100 seats up for election in the Montana House of Representatives:
- Seventeen seats are open due to term limits;
- Fifteen other seats are also open as the current office holders are not seeking re-election or are running for the Senate
Of the 25 Senate seats in which an election will be held:
- Ten are open due to term limits;
- Two more are open as the current office holders have decided not to run
Some of the legislators who are not running again have been conservation champs, like Representatives Doug Cordier, and Senators Greg Lind and Dan Weinberg. Or they’ve been legislative leaders like Rep. John Parker, or have consistently voted with the conservation and environmental community. These legislators will be hard to replace.
Then there’s the partisan make up of the legislature. The Montana Senate currently has a partisan balance of 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans, while the House of Representatives is at 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans and 1 Constitutionalist.
Today, only the Senate comes close to a “conservation majority,” while in the House, there are just enough Democrats who join Republicans to block the most important environmental legislation, and far too few conservation-minded Republicans. The environmental community relied on the Senate to stop bad bills in 2007 and had to fight hard in the House to get the votes needed to send good bills to the Governor’s desk.
That’s why the June 3rd primary is so important. The endorsed candidates featured in these pages have primary races and hold conservation credentials or voting records that far out-shine their primary opponents. Or, they took part in the MCV endorsement process while their opponents didn’t.
In a few cases, MCV’s endorsed primary candidates are legislators with good environmental records who are being challenged by those who won’t stand up for clean air and water and our shared conservation values.
If you live in any of these districts, please vote for MCV’s endorsed candidates. If you don’t, you can help by contributing to their campaigns, volunteering, or contributing to the MCV-PAC.
Montana Conservation Voters’ success in helping elect pro-conservation candidates will determine Montana’s environmental health for years to come. Your votes, your help electing these conservation candidates, your calls, emails and letters and your support of MCV are critical in preserving democracy and Montana’s environment for generations to come.
Theresa M. Keaveny
MCV Executive Director