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If elected governor, Democratic candidate Brian Schweitzer says he’ll create more jobs for Montanans. Wasting no time, Schweitzer has posted his first help wanted ad. The notice invites all comers to apply to be his running mate and candidate for lieutenant governor. Schweitzer’s recently announced search for a sidekick drew digs from GOP leaders who called it “gimmicky.” Add a TV crew to the mix, and Schweitzer could have his own reality show called “Who wants to be my lieutenant governor?” But the farmer from Whitefish insists it’s no gimmick, and anyway, even if it is, it’s one borrowed from Marc Racicot, who Schweitzer says did the same thing. What happened when Racicot went fishing for a running mate? He got a letter from a nice lady in Butte named Judy Martz who thought she’d make a great second in command.

Nevermind what happened next, says Schweitzer. This time around, the open recruiting process is bound to net someone who’s actually prepared to govern.

“If a boat runs over your governor and he drowns, let’s choose someone who can be governor tomorrow,” says Schweitzer, referring to the mysterious demise of Thomas Francis Meagher. The Irish revolutionary, flamboyant orator and Union veteran of the Civil War served twice as acting governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher drowned in the Missouri River. Some say he fell overboard in a drunken stupor; others wonder if he was assassinated.

“We may never know what really happened to him,” says Schweitzer, whose list of potential running mates so far includes no Irish revolutionaries, but continues to grow by the day. A former legislator from Livingston, a Main Street businessman from Billings, a retired Air Force sergeant and the owner of an outdoor adventure company—these are just a few of the candidates on the long list, which Schweitzer plans to winnow to a finalist in the next few weeks.

Anyone seriously considering the job of lieutenant governor might note that Schweitzer is looking for someone to complement his experience in agriculture. A loyal Bobcat football fan who holds a master’s degree from Montana State University, Schweitzer knows agricultural economics the way Marc Racicot knows how to shake down GOP donors. That’s why his ideal running mate might be a Griz fan who’s not much into ag. Picky, no?

To help Schweitzer find his perfect match, the Independent offers this free personals ad. Responding to the ad does not cost $1.99 a minute, but you must be at least 25-years-old, a U.S. citizen, and have lived in Montana for the past two years.

MAN SEEKING MATE
Running mate, that is. Virgo, 48, Democratic candidate for governor seeks Lt. Gov. to share ticket, ice cream socials, long talks about how the international agro-industrial complex can be harnessed to better Montana’s economy. Looking for LTR. No whiners, head games, control freaks or convicted felons. Discrete tattoos and former male hairdressers OK. Not into PAC $. Must be a good listener. Friendship first, possibly more. Call me: 863-9966.

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