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Libertarian candidate Daoud enters the Montana Senate race



Helena, Montana – There will be a Libertarian contender on the ballot when Montanans select a U.S. senator in the upcoming year.

On Monday, Kalispell resident Sid Daoud declared his candidacy for the US Senate. He said that in response to federal overspending and overreach, neither Democrats nor Republicans had gone far enough.

“A lot of times you see bills pass — there’ll be a spending bill maybe the Democrats will create, and the Republicans will knock a couple of billion dollars off of it, and then everybody will pat themselves on the back to get it passed,” he said. “But in reality, we need to take a much harder stance.”

Daoud says he has worked in information technology his entire career and is currently employed as a senior consultant for a defense industry organization. He is a nonpartisan member of the Kalispell City Council and has chaired the Montana Libertarian Party for a number of years.

Since libertarians have consistently performed well in statewide elections, they have been granted guaranteed ballot access in Montana for a number of years. This means that they are exempt from the need to gather signatures in order to be included on the ballot for the general election, unlike independent candidates or other third parties. Daoud would be guaranteed a place on the 2024 ballot alongside the Democratic and Republican contenders, or the victor of the Libertarian primary if another contender files.

Recent elections in Montana have drawn a lot of attention to third-party candidates, including Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s prior contests. Libertarian candidates received more votes in 2006 and 2012 than Tester’s margin of victory over his Republican rivals.

Daoud did, however, express his belief that Libertarians attract voters—both Democrats and Republicans—as well as people who might not otherwise cast a ballot. He stated that the party has a valid point of view to offer and that they shouldn’t have to justify themselves against the two major parties.

“Now with the incredible need to have somebody up there that’s going to make the federal government more responsible, not only economically, but also with things like sending aid outside of the United States when we have people here that are really, really struggling – I don’t think that we can wait too much longer for a voice like that,” he said.

The Libertarian Party has shown up sporadically in recent elections. After two Libertarians filed and subsequently withdrew, there was not a single Libertarian on the 2020 U.S. Senate ballot. Sam Rankin, who just lost a Libertarian primary in Montana’s eastern congressional district, was not given the state party’s endorsement in 2022 because party officials felt he did not accurately reflect Libertarian principles.

Due to Montana’s open primary system, Daoud stated, the party is worried about individuals posing as libertarians but really being “fake-tarians.” He stated that by fielding a candidate early in the election, they intended to avoid that.

“If you’re Montanan or if you were drawn to Montana, there’s a really good chance that if you read our statement of principles, you’re going to say, ‘Hey, that’s the same stuff that I grew up learning and believing,’” said Daoud.

The Montana Libertarian Party modified its rules earlier this year in response to concerns raised by its leaders over primaries. This modification allowed leaders to endorse any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation, if doing so would further libertarian ideas.


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