Montana Pro-Life Candidates Enter Various Races

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 16, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Montana Pro-Life Candidates Enter Various Races

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 16, 2003

Helena, MT ( — Several leading pro-life elected officials and pro-life advocates have announced their candidacies for various races in the 2004 election cycle.

Secretary of State Bob Brown, who spent 26 years in the legislature, announced his candidacy for Governor and named pro-life state Rep. Dave Lewis of Helena as his running mate.

Brown sponsored a bill in the state Senate to require abortion facilities to notifiy parents before they could perform an abortion on a teenage girl. The bill become law but was overturned following a pro-abortion lawsuit. The state Supreme Court misused the right to privacy clause in the state’s constitution and interpreted it as allowing a broad right to abortion, according to Montana Right to Life.

Both Brown and Lewis compiled 100% pro-life voting records during their tenure in the legislature.

"We know how to make tough choices. We’ve made them. We know how to bring people forward together to get results. We’ve done it," brown said in his announcement speech.

Brown’s decision comes four days after former state Senator an ex-Montana GOP chairman Ken Miller threw his hat in the ring.

Miller too compiled a pro-life voting record as a state legislator and he and his wife Peggy have actively campaigned on behalf of numerous pro-life candidates.

The other Republican in the race is former state Sen. Tom Keating of Billings, who is also pro-life. He lost in the GOP primary 2000 as a Lt. Governor nominee.

"I am glad to see that the Republican candidates for the 2004 gubernatorial race are of such high caliber and that they are strongly pro-life," Montana Right to Life president Lianna Karlin told

"There is no doubt that all of the Republican candidates, so far, are staunch advocates of the unborn and have been active in advancing their cause in the Montana legislature," Karlin explained.

The candidates hope to receive the nomination in place of embattled Governor Judy Martz. Martz, who is pro-life, has record-low approval ratings and has yet to decide if she will run for re-election.

The nominee will likely face Democratic rancher Brian Schweitzer, who ran against pro-life Sen. Conrad Burns and lost in 2000. Schweitzer is pro-abortion — even opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions.

In other races, pro-life state Senator Duane Grimes has announced he will run for the State Auditor position. Grimes, who has sponsored several key pieces of pro-life legislation, is term-limited and will likely face current pro-abortion State Auditor John Morrison.

Meanwhile, Brad Johnson, a pro-life candidate from Bozeman, has announced he will run to replace Bob Brown as Secretary of State. Johnson lost to state Sen. Mike Taylor in the 2000 Senate primary.