Montana’s lone Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Susan Good Geise said she is withdrawing from the race to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic in her current role as chair of the Lewis and Clark County Commission.
Geise, the former chair of the Montana Republican Party, filed as a candidate on March 18, citing differences with leaders of her former party and concerns about toxicity in today’s partisan politics. In a statement released Friday, she said she needs to prioritize the county's pandemic response because “the president has made it clear that tackling the complicated and costly work will be borne by state and local governments.”
“Had I known that counties would bear the responsibility in this pandemic, I would not have volunteered to be the Libertarian US Senate candidate. I would have realized that my energy, experience and efforts had a prior commitment, that of doing my part to lead my citizens as best I could through these times of economic, healthcare and societal upheaval,” she said in the statement. “Long before COVID I promised the citizens of Lewis and Clark County to do my very best by them."
Geise said she will return all of the donations made to her campaign.
Geise was selected by the Libertarian Party to replace Eric Fulton of Bozeman, who withdrew from the U.S. Senate race in March. Fulton, who previously ran as a Republican for the Montana Legislature, said at the time that he felt his platform would have been “drastically reduced” by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s last-minute entry into the race.
Geise thanked the Libertarian Party for its faith in her candidacy and said she regrets that she will not be able to see it through.
“I wish I could have foreseen how COVID19 and the appalling lack of leadership at the federal level would impact local governments,” she said. “I believe in the Libertarian Party. Expect a personal check to support Libertarian candidates.”
Aug. 19 is the deadline for the Libertarian Party to select a replacement candidate, according to the Montana Secretary of State's office. The Libertarian Party could not be reached in time for this story.