Montana Shooting Sports Association

2014 Candidate Grades and Endorsements

(for the General Election, November 4, 2014)
(finalized and posted August 10, 2014)

A-F = Letter grade
Bold/E = Endorsed by MSSA
? = No information about candidate  (No Candidate Questionnaire returned and no voting record)

U.S. Senate 

Candidate - Grade            Basis

Steve Daines(R) - AE    Voting Record and Candidate Questionnaire
Amanda Curtis(D) - F      Voting Record
Roger Roots(L) - A          Candidate Questionnaire

U.S. House

Mike Fellows(L) - ?        Nothing
John Lewis(D) - ?            Nothing
Ryan Zinke(R) - B            Voting Record

Montana Supreme Court

Lawrence VanDyke - AE    Other
Mike Wheat - D                    Voting Record

Montana Legislature

Explanation about legislative candidate grades and endorsements (please read):  A HUGE amount of information goes into compiling these grades and endorsements.  MSSA tracks legislative votes on gun-related bills before the Legislature.  For example, MSSA tracked 24 different votes for 100 members of the House in the 2013 session.  That's 2,400 pieces of data to use (thanks to volunteer Chris!!!).  So, when you see that the basis for a candidate's grade is a "V" (Votes), know that this is from hard data and historic performance.  Votes cast are highly relevant and dependable as a litmus of a candidate's RKBA performance and attitude.  It also means that the candidate is an incumbent (usual) or has served in the Legislature before (so we have a voting record).  If the basis for a candidate's grade shows a "CQ" in the Basis column, that's because the candidate returned MSSA's 2014 Candidate Questionnaire but has not served in the Legislature (if the candidate has a voting record, we consider votes cast to be a more reliable litmus and use that).  Many candidates (especially Democrats) are advised by others to NOT complete or return MSSA's CQ, which is why the reader will see so many candidates with a "?" rather than a grade.  These candidates have no voting record and no CQ on file with MSSA.  These candidates will also have an "N" (No information) in the Basis column.  It is MSSA's position that these candidates are likely hostile to the RKBA, which is why they didn't return MSSA's CQ.  Rarely, MSSA will grade a candidate with an "O" (Other) under Basis.  That's because MSSA has some other source if information about the candidate than a voting record or CQ.  MSSA does compare notes extensively with the NRA during the process of working up these grades and endorsements, although MSSA and the NRA don't always agree on appropriate grades (MSSA tends to be less forgiving of anti-gun votes).  For those few candidates who have a "+" after the grade, that is because MSSA reserves the + only for legislators who have carried bills for MSSA.  Endorsed candidates are in Bold.

Further note:  Of the 241 candidates seeking the 125 seats up for grabs in the 2015 Legislature, MSSA has endorsed 16 Republicans and one Libertarian for the Senate - for the House, MSSA has endorsed 45 Republicans and two Independents.  Thus, MSSA has reason to endorse candidates in about half of the races for legislative seats.  Unfortunately, MSSA could not endorse any Democrats, either because incumbents had poor voting records or because new candidates chose to not return MSSA's Candidate Questionnaire (or, rarely, did return MSSA's CQ but did not score well).

MSSA 2014 Legislative Grades



Office/Dist Name Party Endors
SD 01 Terence Gill D ? N
SD 01 Chas V. Vincent R A+E V
SD 04 Mark W. Blasdel R AE V
SD 04 Diane Taylor D ? N
SD 05 Bob Keenan R AE V
SD 05 Daniel S. King D ? N
SD 08 Liane Johnson R AE CQ
SD 08 Lea Whitford D ? N
SD 09 David Brownell D ? N
SD 09 Llew Jones R AE V
SD 11 Vonnie Brown D ? N
SD 11 Ed Buttrey R B V
SD 12 Sheridan Buck R B CQ
SD 12 Mary Sheehy Moe D ? N
SD 13 Carlie Boland D D- V
SD 13 Brian Hoven R C V
SD 14 Kris Hansen R AE V
SD 14 Greg Jergeson D F V
SD 19 Bill McChesney D F V
SD 19 Frederick Davis Moore R A+E V
SD 20 Duane Ankney R B- V
SD 22 Steven Fugate D ? N
SD 22 Douglas "Doug" Kary R AE V
SD24 Mary McNally D F V
SD 24 Tonya Shellnutt R AE CQ
SD 27 Eric Johnson D ? N
SD 27 Cary Smith R A+E V
SD 29 Susan "Elli" Elliott D ? N
SD 29 David Howard R B V
SD 30 Mary Murphy D ? N
SD 30 Nels Swandal R AE O
SD 32 Jedediah Hinkle R AE CQ
SD 32 Franke Wilmer D F V
SD 33 Jennifer "JP" Pomnichowski D F V
SD 33 Bryan F. Rogan R ? N
SD 33 Joan Stanley L AE CQ
SD 34 April Buonamici D ? N
SD 34 Gordon (Gordy) Vance R AE V
SD 41 Mary M. Caferro D F V
SD 42 Jill Cohenour D D- V
SD 42 Joe Dooling R C O
SD 43 Patrick (Pat) Connell R AE V
SD 43 Robert Schumacher D ? N
SD 48 Mike Hopkins R AE CQ
SD 48 Cynthia Wolken D ? N
SD 49 Dick Haines R A+E V
SD 49 Diane Sands D F V
SD 50 Tom Facey D F V

HD 01 Gerald Jerry Bennett R AE V
HD 01 Donald Coats D ? N
HD 02 Steven Benson D ? N
HD 02 Mike Cuffe R AE V
HD 03 Chris Colvin L ? N
HD 03 Jerry O'Neil R A+E V
HD 03 Zac Perry D ? N
HD 04 Melanie J. Knadler D ? N
HD 04 Keith Regier R AE V
HD 05 Doug Adams R B O
HD 05 Ed Lieser D F V
HD 06 David Fischlowitz D ? N
HD 06 Carl Glimm R AE V
HD 07 Frank Garner R C O
HD 07 Catie Henderson D ? N
HD 08 Steve Lavin R C V
HD 08 Lynn R. Stanley D ? N
HD 09 Randy Brodehl R AE V
HD 09 Diane Frances Taylor D ? N
HD 10 Ruby M. Dynneson D ? N
HD 10 Mark R Noland R ? N
HD 11 Kim E Fleming D ? N
HD 11 Albert D Olszewski R ? N
HD 12 Greg Hertz R AE VCQ
HD 12 William McLaughlin D ? N
HD 13 Weylin Achatz D ? N
HD 13 Bob Brown R AE CQ
HD 14 Terry Caldwell D ? N
HD 14 Nick Schwaderer R A+E V
HD 15 George G. Kipp III D ? N
HD 16 Lila J. Evans R C- V
HD 16 Susan A. Webber D ? N
HD 17 Christy Clark R B V
HD 17 Kurt Dyer D ? N
HD 18 Rob Cook R D V
HD 18 Dale Sheldon D ? N
HD 19 Evan Bowser D ? N
HD 19 Randy Pinocci R AE CQO
HD 20 Steve Fitzpatrick R C V
HD 20 Bob Moretti D ? N
HD 21 Tom Jacobson D F V
HD 21 Cleve Loney R BE V
HD 22 Robert "Bob" Mehlhoff D F V
HD 22 Eric Tilleman R ? N
HD 23 Wendy McKamey R ? N
HD 23 Earl Salley D ? N
HD 24 Fred Anderson R ? N
HD 24 Jean Price D F V
HD 25 Benn Koljonen R ? N
HD 25 Casey Schreiner D F V
HD 26 Jeremy Trebas R B CQ
HD 26 Mitch Tropila D D- V
HD 27 Roy Hollandsworth R B- V
HD 27 Rob Laas D ? N
HD 28 Stephanie Hess R ? N
HD 28 Janet M. Trethewey D ? N
HD 29 Bill Harris R AE V
HD 29 Ron Moody D ? N
HD 30 Ryan Osmundson R AE V
HD 30 Dan Simpson D ? N
HD 31 Bridget Smith D F V
HD 32 Clarena M. Brockie D F V
HD 32 Gilbert Bruce Meyers R ? N
HD 33 Floyd Russell Hopstad D ? N
HD 33 Mike L Lang R AE V
HD 34 Gene O Hartsock D ? N
HD 34 Austin Knudsen R AE V
HD 35 Rob Knotts D C CQ
HD 35 Scott Staffanson R AE CQ
HD 36 Alan Doane R AE V
HD 36 Edward W. Hansen D ? N
HD 37 Lee Randall R AE V
HD 37 Dixie Rieger D ? N
HD 38 Kenneth Holmlund R ? N
HD 38 Steven Muggli D ? N
HD 39 Geraldine Custer R ? N
HD 39 Howard Keller D ? N
HD 40 Tom Berry R C+ V
HD 40 Edith Sloan D ? N
HD 41 Patricia Rae Peppers D F V
HD 42 Carolyn Pease-Lopez D F V
HD 43 Clayton Fiscus R AE V
HD 43 John Pulasky D ? N
HD 44 Dale Mortensen R AE CQ
HD 44 Sandy Wong D ? N
HD 45 Stephen Hoklin D ? N
HD 45 Daniel Zolnikov R AE V
HD 46 Donald Jones R AE V
HD 46 Paul J. Van Tricht D ? N
HD 47 Katharin Kelker D ? N
HD 47 Joshua Tyler Sizemore R C
HD 48 Jessica Karjala D ? N
HD 48 Dennis Lenz R AE V
HD 49 Cory Hasiak R C CQ
HD 49 Kelly McCarthy D F V
HD 50 Virginia Court D F V
HD 50 Tom Richmond R ? N
HD 51 Margie MacDonald D F V
HD 51 Tony O'Donnell R AE CQ
HD 52 Chris Goodridge D ? N
HD 52 Dave Hagstrom R AE V
HD 53 Clarissa Cerovski D ? N
HD 53 Sarah Laszloffy R AE V
HD 54 Jeff Essmann R AE V
HD 54 Jeffrey A. Hill L A CQ
HD 54 Nancy Rasky D ? N
HD 55 Vince Ricci R AE CQ
HD 55 Don "Doc" Woerner D ? N
HD 56 Joshua Austill L ? N
HD 56 Tom Curry D ? N
HD 56 Jonathan McNiven R AE V
HD 57 Michael Huff D ? N
HD 57 Forrest J. Mandeville R C CQ
HD 58 Seth Berglee R AE CQ
HD 58 Mitzi M. Vorachek D ? N
HD 59 Karen Lynch D ? N
HD 59 Alan Redfield R AE V
HD 60 Debra Lamm R AE CQ
HD 60 Reilly Neill D F N
HD 61 Nick Mahan R ? N
HD 61 Kathleen Williams D F V
HD 62 Vicki Schultz R ? N
HD 62 Tom Woods D F V
HD 63 Zach Brown D ? N
HD 63 Nathan J MacLaren R ? N
HD 64 Christopher Burke D ? N
HD 64 Kerry E. White R AE V
HD 65 Michael (Mike) More R AE V
HD 65 Christopher Pope D ? N
HD 66 Denise Hayman D ? N
HD 66 Ed Johnson R ? N
HD 67 Virjeana (Jeannie) Brown D ? N
HD 67 Tom Burnett R B V
HD 68 Ashley Stevick D ? N
HD 68 Art Wittich R A+E V
HD 69 Matthew Monforton R AE CQO
HD 69 Mark Bond D ? N
HD 70 Marla Clark D ? N
HD 70 Kelly Flynn R AE V
HD 71 Johanna Lester D ? N
HD 71 Ray L. Shaw R B V
HD 72 Norma Duffy D ? N
HD 72 Jeff Welborn R C V
HD 73 Edith (Edie) McClafferty D F V
HD 74 John Michael Driscoll I AE CQ
HD 74 Pat Noonan D F V
HD 75 Kevin Keeler D ? N
HD 75 Kirk B. Wagoner R AE V
HD 76 Ryan Lynch D F V
HD 77 Kathy Swanson D F V
HD 78 Suzzann Nordwick R AE
HD 78 Gordon Pierson Jr D F V
HD 79 Jenny Eck D F V
HD 79 Richard 'Ric' Tenneson Jr R ? N
HD 80 Elizabeth Cain D ? N
HD 80 Mike Miller R AE V
HD 80 Ron Vandevender L A CQ
HD 81 Janet Ellis D ? N
HD 81 Michael H. Pardis R ? N
HD 82 Liz Bangerter R D- V
HD 82 Moffie Funk D ? N
HD 83 Chuck Hunter D F V
HD 84 Mary Ann Dunwell D ? N
HD 84 Steve Gibson R C- V
HD 84 Nicholas Jacob Taffs L ? N
HD 85 Theresa Manzella R AE CQ
HD 85 James William Youso D ? N
HD 86 Ron Ehli R AE V
HD 86 Nancy A. Schneider D ? N
HD 87 Nancy Ballance R AE V
HD 87 Erin O'Leary Houtchens D ? N
HD 88 Edward Greef R AE V
HD 88 Dan Metully D ? N
HD 89 Nate McConnell D ? N
HD 90 Ellie Hill D F V
HD 91 Bryce Bennett D F V
HD 92 David "Doc" Moore R B V
HD 92 Dave Strohmaier D ? N
HD 93 Susan T. Evans D ? N
HD 93 Dan Salomon R AE V
HD 94 Kimberly Dudik D F V
HD 94 Gary Marbut I A+E* O
HD 95 Nancy Wilson D F V
HD 96 Lyn Hellegaard R AE CQO
HD 96 Andrew Person D ? N
HD 97 Bill Geer D ? N
HD 97 Charles Satchfield L ? N
HD 97 Brad Tschida R AE CQ
HD 98 Willis Curdy D ? N
HD 98 Roger Seewald R ? N
HD 99 Tom Steenberg D F N
HD 100 Andrea Olsen D ? N
* By NRA, not MSSA