After reading Montanafesto’s analysis of the latest GOPer to enter the 2012 Governor’s race in Montana, I thought folks here might be interested in a look at the Dems that are being talked about for a possible AG run in Montana and Cowgirl has kindly allowed me a guest post. There are three or four democrats right now who are considering running for Steve Bullock’s seat as Attorney General should he run for Governor: Jesse Laslovich, a former state legislator; Tyler Gernant, who ran for Congress before being defeated in the 2010 Democratic primary; Pam Bucy, Chief Legal Council for the Montana Department of Labor; and John Morrison, former Montana State Auditor who ran for Senate before being defeated in the 2006 primary by Jon Tester despite raising millions.
Demographics likely play somewhat of a role. Montana has never had a female Attorney General, and there have only been twelve women AG’s in the U.S. Gernant and Laslovich are somewhat younger, and will both just make it in under the required five years of legal practice required by state law for Attorney General in Montana. Somehow, I doubt that Montanans will want to put a “barely legal” candidate up against Tim Fox, last cycles Republican candidate and a tough competitor. John Morrison would be good at raising money, but may face similar electability problems as Rick Hill.
A larger factor in the race however will be experience. Bucy’s experience includes service as deputy county attorney for Lewis and Clark County. Then in 2001, Pam was appointed Executive Assistant Attorney General for Attorney General Mike McGrath. She’s also got several years of private sector experience, working at a private firm in Helena for several years. She is currently Chief Legal for the Montana Department of Labor, which has like 600 employees. Morrison’s experience would also be formidable as the former State Auditor in charge of an agency with 70 employees.
Given the experience gap, it appears unlikely that Gernant will jump into the race. Laslovich has come closer to being publicly committed to actually running, and has more experience than Gernant, in that he has been a state legislator. He also has some anti-choice votes that will make it difficult for him to win in a primary, including voting for a bill that is essentially the personhood initiative-the abortion ban that anti-choicers have failed to get on the ballot for the past two election cycles.