Montana Shooting Sports Association

Attributes of a good candidate for the Legislature

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 candidate's money.

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 issues.

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 Independents.

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.