Far Right Falls Hard

Far Right Falls Hard

Great Falls voted in the primary election, determining which candidates will go on to the general election in November, and it was a bad day for MAGA Republicans. As official results rolled in, far-right ringleaders  started falling like dominoes. For the past two legislative sessions, Republicans have held a strong majority. They’ve used this muscle to attack reproductive rights and raise our property taxes through the roof. Montana is worse for all they have done.

The tides have turned! Despite protests from folks who prefer business as usual, many Democrats crossed over and voted in the Republican primary. The strategy? Eliminate the far-right  leaders, and keep them off the ballot in November. Looking at the primary results, it pays to think outside of the box. 

Enjoy this list of far-right losers who will not be appearing on the ballot in November.

Rae Grulkowski
Grulkowski was the puppeteer behind the chaos and dysfunction that plagued the elections office last year. She’s been finishing out a partial term as County Commissioner. Lucky for us, Grulkowski WILL NOT BE ON THE BALLOT THIS NOVEMBER.

Lola Sheldon-Galloway
Sheldon-Galloway is a long-time legislator whose bad hats and even worse beliefs have plagued Montana for years. Nobody’s spent more time trying to control your uterus than Lola. Best known for claiming that you can’t get pregnant from rape, Lola hoped to jump from the House to the Senate. However, she had a big loss last night and WILL NOT BE ON THE BALLOT THIS NOVEMBER.


Steven Galloway
Steven served his first term in the House last session, and he used every minute of it to try and make himself richer. He focused on laws targeting renters and benefiting landlords. Slack-jawed Steven rode his wife’s coattails into one win, but this year he pissed off fellow Republican George Nikolakakos. According to local gossip, George then recruited his wife to run, and run she has. While we’ll be working hard to defeat her in November, right now we’re going to celebrate that Steven Galloway WILL NOT BE ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER.

Randy Pinocci
When he’s not trying to fist-fight voters or engaging in (alleged) felony witness tampering, Pinocci is making over $100,000 per year as our Public Service Commissioner. This cycle, Pinocci was on the ticket with Tanner Smith running for Governor, and Pinocci as Lieutenant Governor. Not only did the Smith/Tanner ticket lose big, Pinocci couldn’t even win the election for local precinct person. Love that for him. After two big losses, Pinocci WILL NOT BE ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER.

Sandra Merchant
It’s a really bad time to be Sandra Merchant. Late last year, the County Commision voted to remove all election duties from Merchant (the current Clerk and Recorder) due to her gross incompetence. Now, Merchant will be without her bodyguard, Grulkowski. In an embarrassing turn of events, Merchant was also unable to win her election for local precinct person. Admittedly, precinct races don’t have much weight, but it’s mighty fun to watch this particular fall. Let’s hope that with Grulkowski on her way out, Merchant will finally find the sense to resign. 

Now what?
Looking ahead to November, it’s clear that Democrats have a lot of work to do.  The worst Republicans have been ousted, but we don’t want to elect the ones remaining either. Despite the tantrums of Republicans bemoaning the crossover votes, what we’ve seen is that Democrats are finally ready to fight back. Now let’s go kick some ass.

Vote In The Republican Primary?

Vote In The Republican Primary?

It seems like all of the old rules went out the window with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.  With the resources and energy of far-right groups like the Freedom Caucus, Moms for Liberty, American for Prosperity and others, the right flank of the Republican Party has taken over most of state and local government.  

Here in Cascade County there is a long standing feud between far-right Republicans, known as the Freedom Caucus, led by legislators like Steven Galloway and Lola Sheldon-Galloway, and more traditional pro-corporate Republicans like Ed Buttrey and Steve Fitzpatrick. This election almost all legislative seats have contested Republican primaries pitting these two factions against each other.  In addition, there is a hotly contested County Commission primary race between far-right incumbent Rae Grulkowski and local businessman Eric Hinebauch.

At the same time there is only one contested Democratic primary, the race for the Eastern Congressional District. The unfortunate fact is, no matter which Democratic candidate wins the primary, he will have virtually no chance of winning the seat in the general election. In short, there is not much reason to vote in the Democratic Primary here in Cascade County.

That brings us to the talk around town urging Democrats in Cascade County to vote in the Republican primary for the more reasonable of those candidates. Some folks are arguing that    a few votes could make the difference between more nuts and more reasonable people in public office. They may be right, and the fact is that there is really nothing to lose given the lack of contested Democratic primaries here.  Advocates of Democrats voting in the Republican primary, which is perfectly legal, say, “desperate times call for desperate measures|.”  

The following is a list of the contested primaries and who are the more far-right candidates.   

Cascade County Commission
Rea Grulkowski- Far Right
Eric Hinebauch

Senate District 13
Lola Sheldon-Galloway- Far Right
Josh Kassmier

House District 19
Hannah Trebas- Far Right
Darren Auger

House District 20
Steven Galloway- Far Right
Melisssa Nikolakkas

House District 21
Josh Osterman- Far Right
Ed Buttrey

House District 22
James Whitaker- Far Right
George Nikolakkas

House District 23
John Proud- Far Right
Pete Anderson- Far Right
Josh Denully
Eric Tillerman

Cascade Legislative Filings-  Republican Infighting Continues

Cascade Legislative Filings- Republican Infighting Continues

Let’s start with a little definition of terms used in this Post.  

Far-Right  Republicans– Republicans who advocate ideas and policies which are coming from extreme groups like the Freedom Caucus and local Pachyderm Club. They are driven by conspiracy theories including rhetoric about the “Deep State” and stolen elections. The Galloways, Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter and County Commissioner  Rae Grulkowski are in this group. Also known as Tin Foil Hat Republicans

Corporate Republicans–  Republicans who generally fit into the more traditional frame of Republicanism. They promote privatization of public services and institutions, deregulation of industry, and cutting  taxes. Fitzpatrick, McKamey, Buttrey,  Nikolakos, Commissioners Briggs and Larson, Republican Central Committee Chair Eric Hinebauch are in this group.  Also known as Corporate  Lapdog Republicans.

If you follow local politics in Cascade County, you are probably aware of the feuds within the local Republican Party. We’re not going to go into in much detail here, but we provide this quote from Matthew Monforton, Republican activist, former legislator, and attorney who was representing the Far-Right  Republicans here in a lawsuit over control of the Republican Central Committee in 2019.  “What it comes down to is, there’s a group of fake Republicans in Cascade County that are really Democrats, but they know they can’t get elected to office as Democrats. Their goals are vastly different than those of the Republican Party.” 


A quick look at the filing for this election cycle indicates that the feud is still going. There is a contested Republican primary in every legislative district except one. Equally telling, only one current legislator and Corporate Republican, Steve Fitzpatrick, does not face a primary challenger.  Also interesting that four Libertarians have filed.  

To our readers who are gleefully rubbing their hands together over the discord within the Republican ranks, we have to say, “not so fast.”  The truth is that contested primaries make for stronger candidates in the general election cycle. They have already been raising money, meeting voters, buying materials and garnering media attention, and they bring those assets with them to the general election.  

So, we leave you with a little unverified gossip. Word is that Far-Right Republican  legislator Steven Galloway recruited James Whitaker to challenge incumbent George Nikolakos in House District 22.  Nikolakos was so angry that he got his wife to file against Steven Galloway at the last minute. We don’t know if this is the real story, but we do know that Melissa Nikolakos filed against Galloway on the last day to file at 3:38 p.m.  Hmmm.


HD 19
Jane Weber- D

Hannah Trebas – R

Darren Auger- R


HD 20

Rina Moore – D

Steven Galloway-R 

Melissa Nikolakos-R


HD 21

Lela Graham-D

ED  Buttrey-R 

James Osterman-R

Joshua Rosles-L


HD 22

Ronald Paulick- D

George Nikolakos-R 

James Whitaker- R


HD 23

Sandor Hopkins-D

Pete Anderson- R

John Proud-R 

Josh Denully- R

Kevin Leatherbarrow- L

HD 24

Steve Fitpatrick- R 

Annie Leatherbarrow- L

HD 25

James Rickley- D

Darren Auger- R

Steve Gist- R 

Loui Salinas- L


SD 13

Lola Galloway-R

Joshua Cashmier- R

We Want You!

We Want You!

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,”  John F Kennedy, Inaugural Address

Did you know there are only two elected officials in Cascade County who are not Republicans?  All of our legislative seats are Republican, all of the County Commissioners are Republican.  The Sheriff is Republican, The Clerk and Recorder is Republican, The Treasurer is Republican, 

But these Republicans are not your Grandfather’s Republicans.  They are Trump’s MAGA Republicans who are seeking to impose their narrow views on the rest of us.  They want to tell us what we can read.  They seek to limit women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health care services.  They are rolling back the civil rights gains of the 1950’and 1960’s. They are attacking LGBTQI people and opposing efforts to address climate change.  They are even trying to rewrite history to reflect their narrow views.

Now is the time we can do something about it. And no, we are not talking about getting out to vote.  We are talking about putting your name on the bottom line and filing to run for office.  There are numerous legislative seats and one county commission seat open in the next election cycle in Cascade County.  All of them are held by Republicans and most of those incumbents are filing to run for office again. 

The deadline for filing for office is March 11.  We want to get as many reasonable people as possible to run for office.  Doesn’t matter if you file as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent.  We just need normal people who are not promoting the extreme agenda of the far right.

So here’s how to do it.  Just click on this link to the Secretary of State’s Office and follow the instructions.  https://prodcandidatefiling.mt.gov/candidatefiling/CandidateHomepage.aspx 

If you want a little help, these folks can help you.

Cascade County Democrats, Helena Lovick, Chair 

[email protected]

Cascade County Republicans, Eric Hinebauch, Chair  https://www.cascadecountygop.com/contact-us

Cascade County Libertarians, Tony Rosales, Chair, https://www.facebook.com/CascadeCountyLibertarianParty/

You don’t have to live in the district you run in and running a campaign isn’t as difficult as you might think.  The truth is you might not win but you can make a difference by letting these incumbent Republicans know their views don’t represent all of us.  And your efforts in this campaign cycle make it easier to elect reasonable people in the future.





Gallatin R’s Call Us “Peasants” In Unhinged Fundraiser Invitation

Gallatin R’s Call Us “Peasants” In Unhinged Fundraiser Invitation

The Gallatin County Republicans has caused quite a stir with an invitation to their annual fundraiser dinner. You may have already seen it circling online. If not, we’ve included it below.  We think this invitation pretty much speaks for itself.

Read the Democratic Party’s response here: https://www.montanademocrats.org/news/mtgop-calls-hundreds-of-thousands-of-montanans-peasant-families