The Countdown to a Special Congressional Election in Montana Begins

Representative Ryan Zinke has just been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and will be sworn in perhaps as early as today as the new Secretary of the Interior. This leaves the State of Montana without a Representative, so Governor Steve BullockĀ has set a date for the Special Election to fill the seat: Thursday, May 25th. Unlike in South Carolina, Georgia, and California, which will have primaries of some sort and then a general election, the political parties in Montana will select their own candidates at conventions.

The Billings Gazette reports that the Democratic Party is planning on a nominating convention in Helena this Sunday. Eight Democrats are vying for the nomination, including musician Rob Quist, state legislator Kelly McCarthy, and 2014 U.S. Senate nominee and current state legislator Amanda Curtis. Mrs. Curtis is arguably the favorite of a pack that includes a total of eight candidates.

Republicans will hold their convention soon, but no date has been set yet. With a filing fee of $1,750, the field is slightly smaller, but still packed with potentially strong candidates: 2016 Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte is the favorite in a group that also includes state legislators Carl Glimm and Ed Buttrey, and the former state party chairman Ken Miller.

In the event the battle comes down to Curtis and Gianforte, we have the fun situation of two candidates who both lost their last election, though Giaforte came far, far closer to unseating the current governor than Curtis came to filling a Senate seat.