Mark French really wants to tell Montana voters which Republican Party officials have endorsed him in next month’s election, but he won’t be getting any help from the U.S Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court on Friday rejected the judicial candidate’s request to block a state rule that says he can’t seek or use Republican endorsements in his nonpartisan race. What he had asked the court — specifically, Justice Anthony Kennedy — to do would disrupt Montana’s 129 judicial elections that already are underway, with early voting having begun Oct. 6, attorneys for the state argued.
French, a tea party advocate with failed campaigns for the Republican nomination for U.S. House in 2010 and GOP Party chairman in 2011, is trying to unseat Donald Strine as Sanders County justice of the peace Nov. 4.
The justice of the peace race, like all judicial elections in Montana, is nonpartisan, which means French is prohibited from labeling himself a Republican or seeking, accepting or using partisan endorsements.
French isn’t seeking to call himself a Republican in the race, but he does want to tout an endorsement from the Sanders County Republican Central Committee, which his wife leads. He also wants to solicit additional endorsements from well-known Republicans in the state.