A conservative Republican who sponsored a successful resolution to close primary elections to nonparty members during last week’s convention wants a federal lawsuit filed immediately to get the process underway. But party leaders said this week they have no timeline and haven’t decided how they’ll proceed. That isn’t sitting well with resolution sponsor and House District 69 candidate Matthew Monforton. He said moderate party leaders are stalling because closed primaries threaten their chances for election. “The GOP leadership has no intention of following through,” Monforton said. “They’ve chosen their own interests over the call of their party.”
Montana Republican Party Executive Director Bowen Greenwood said party leaders are looking at options to close primaries. But he said the party is focused on the Nov. 4 general election and he wouldn’t recommend any action before then.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” Greenwood said. “The majority is concerned with electing candidates, and that’s what we’re working on right now.”
Monforton pointed to Idaho’s Republican Party as an example where the change was made through a federal lawsuit in 2011. As an attorney, he thinks the party in Montana would be successful in a similar lawsuit. The changes could also be approved by the Montana Legislature, but Monforton sees little chance for success there.
Full Article: Montana Republican leaders: Closing primaries will wait.