Montana Shooting Sports Association
Attributes of a good candidate for the
1. Available. A good candidate will have the time to devote to and
mount an aggressive campaign, and to serve if elected (January
through April of odd-numbered years).
2. Philosophy. A good candidate will respect, even revere, the US
and Montana Constitutions, especially including the right to keep
and bear arms in both constitutions that the people have reserved to
themselves from government interference. A good candidate will
prefer to shift power, mission, prerogative, and money from
government to people, rather than the reverse, and rather than just
trying to make government work. A good candidate will have a solid
personal philosophical foundation, and not hope to go to Helena to
learn that philosophy.
3. Local standing. A good candidate will be a person of good local
repute, preferably with connections to local organizations, the
community, and local networks, and a history of service or
participation in the community.
4. Presentable; articulate. A good candidate must be able to
interact well with others, be articulate enough to discuss public
issues intelligently, and must appear and comport himself or herself
in such a way as to be presentable.
5. Financial stability. A viable candidate must be able and willing
to suffer the time out of income stream to run and to serve.
Serving in the Legislature is not a moneymaking endeavor. It
is public service, somewhat compensated. A candidate does NOT need
the ability to self-fund his or her own campaign, because a
candidate's ability to recruit and attract campaign donations is
also a litmus of the candidates ability to recruit and attract
votes. A candidate's campaign should run on donations, not the
6. Knowledge of issues. It is helpful but not necessary for a
candidate to have detailed knowledge of issues likely to come before
the Legislature. An otherwise-viable candidate can be coached about
7. Political party. The Republican party platform has a strong plank
in support of the right to keep and bear arms. The Democrat party
has none. A solidly pro-gun candidate will likely file as a
Republican, but MSSA is non-partisan and will support solidly
pro-gun candidates regardless of any party affiliation, including
8. Support. Lots of entities may promise support for a prospective
candidate. Significant support usually doesn't occur. A realistic
candidate should figure that the candidate is on his or her own, and
then be glad to get whatever organizational support may dribble in.
That's just reality. MSSA can provide collaboration and coaching,
and will be able to spend some uncoordinated money in support of
good candidates, but not a lot of money in any one race.