Mike Fellows (politician)

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Mike Fellows
Personal details
Born
Michael Charles Fellows

(1957-12-08)December 8, 1957
Lewiston, Idaho, U.S.
DiedSeptember 19, 2016(2016-09-19) (aged 58)
Missoula County, Montana, U.S.
Cause of deathTraffic collision
NationalityAmerican
Political partyLibertarian
OccupationActivist, politician

Michael Charles "'Mike" Fellows (December 8, 1957 – September 19, 2016) was an American political activist and Army reservist.[1] He was also a state coordinator for the Montana Fully Informed Jury Association.[2][3] In the 1990s he issued a press release calling for the impeachment of Bill Clinton.[4] Fellows made political history in 2012 by becoming the first Libertarian candidate ever to gather more than 40% of the vote in a partisan statewide race. Prior to running, that level had never been achieved.[5]

Political[edit]

Fellows was the state chair of the Montana Libertarian Party.[6] He had an involvement with the party that went back to 1988.[7] In 1998 he was in the race for Montana's lone U.S. house seat with Democrat Robert "Dusty" Deschamps, Reform Party candidate Webb Sullivan and Republican freshman Rick Hill with Hill ending up the winner.[8][9] In 2006 he was in the race, running against Republican Denny Rehberg and Democrat Monica Lindeen.[10]

In 2012, he secured a place for himself in political history by becoming the first Libertarian Party candidate to achieve passing the 40 percent vote mark in a partisan statewide race. He actually got 43 percent which amounted to 185,419 votes. This carried 27 of Montana's 56 counties in a two-way race for the Supreme Court clerk.[11][12] The race was against incumbent Democrat Ed Smith, who narrowly won.[13]

In November 2014 he was in the race for Montana's U.S. House seat. He ran against Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke.[14] The three reasons he gave for running were to try to protect Second Amendment gun rights, balance the federal budget and reduction of the federal debt.[15] He pulled 10,654 votes but Republican Zinke won.[16]

He was referred to in the Choteau Acantha by Dylan Chaffin as the real-life political version of the Energizer Bunny.[17] He was also referred to in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle as "Montana's 'godfather of third-party politics'".[18] According to an article in The Washington Times, The Libertarian Party was a major part of his life.[19]

Political views and stances[edit]

Privacy and liberties[edit]

Fellows advocated for the repeal of the 2001 Patriot Act, which was passed by the government in the wake of 9/11. He was critical of the law for violating constitutional provisions, pointing out unreasonable searches and seizures.[20] In an article in the Sidney Herald, he was said to be about is all about the expansion of civil liberties the minimization of government. He was about allowing people to do what they wanted as long as they didn't infringe on the rights of others.[21]

Fellows was opposed to sending more ground troops to the Middle East. He once commented, ... "We're just going to keep at this thing, losing lives and spending money." [22]

On abortion, Fellows stated that while he was personally opposed to it, libertarians do not believe the government should be involved in such matters.[23][24]

About a bill that would banish third parties from the ballot, Fellows suggested that Republicans didn't believe in free market as they were trying to use the forces of government to their ends.[25]

Other organizations[edit]

In addition to the Montana Fully Informed Jury Association, Fellows was a trustee for American Legion Post 27 and on the board of Missoula Community Access Television.[15]

Accident and death[edit]

Fellows died at the age of 58 in a car crash near Potomac in Missoula County, Montana, on September 19, 2016, following a campaign event in Seeley Lake.[26][27] Fellows was involved in a head on automobile accident on Highway 200. The accident happened at mile marker 16.5. He died at the accident scene and the other driver was taken for treatment at a local hospital. According to an investigation, Fellows had been travelling west while returning from Seeley Lake where he had attended a campaign function.[28] Apparently Lexus that Fellows was driving had crossed the center line.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Charles Fellows". Missoulian.com. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Zinke, Lewis have final debate Charles S. Johnson, The Montana Standard; October 21, 2014
  3. ^ Missoulian', October 1, 2014 U.S. House candidate Fellows seeks to balance budget, cut debt, protect gun rights By Charles S. Johnson
  4. ^ "The Associated Press - Hill, Deschamps Gearing Up for Final Two Months of Campaign The Associated Press September 8, 1998; Montana Democrats.org". MontanaDemocrats.org. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  5. ^ NBC Montana, September 20, 2016 - Local Elections, Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows killed in car crash By: The Associated Press
  6. ^ The Montana Standard, November 04, 2014 Zinke tops Lewis, Fellows in race for open Montana seat in U.S. House Charles S. Johnson
  7. ^ The Washington Times, Tuesday September 20, 2016 - NEWS, Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows killed in car crash by Matt Volz
  8. ^ Montana Democrats The Associated Press – Hill, Deschamps Gearing Up for Final Two Months of Campaign The Associated Press September 8, 1998
  9. ^ Roundup Record Trubune & Winnett Times, November 11, 1998 Republicans Win In County General Election Results
  10. ^ Roundup Record Tribune & Winnett Times, Wednesday, November 1, 2006 Page 1 Many Races Listed On The Election Ballot This Year
  11. ^ Lp.org, January 22, 2013 - News, Mike Fellows sets national LP record in MT, mulls another run for office
  12. ^ NBC Montana, September 20, 2016 - Local Elections, Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows killed in car crash By: The Associated Press
  13. ^ The Libertarian Republic, September 20, 2016 - Libertarian & “Godfather of Third-Party Politics” Passes Away at Age 59 - Josh Guckert
  14. ^ The Washington Times, Sunday, October 26, 2014 by Lisa Baumann Associated Press
  15. ^ a b Missoulian, October 01, 2014 U.S. House candidate Fellows seeks to balance budget, cut debt, protect gun rights By Charles S. Johnson
  16. ^ The Montana Standard, November 05, 2014 Southwest Montana 2014 Election Scorecard
  17. ^ Choteau Acantha, Oct 8, 2014 - ALERT, U.S. House - Mike Fellows By Dylan Chaffin
  18. ^ Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Sep 20, 2016 - Montana’s ‘godfather of third-party politics’ dead at 59 by Troy Carter
  19. ^ The Washington Times, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - NEWS, Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows killed in car crash by Matt Volz
  20. ^ Billings Gazette, October 04, 2010 House Race, House candidate critical of health reform Charles S. Johnson Gazette State Bureau
  21. ^ Sidney Herald, Nov 2, 2008 - Third-party candidates in Montana offer a different view By Chris D’Angelo and Matt McLeod
  22. ^ The Montana Standard, October 21, 2014 Zinke, Lewis have final debate Charles S. Johnson – National Security and Middle East
  23. ^ The Daily Inter Lake, Wednesday, October 22, 2014 U.S. House candidates meet in final debate
  24. ^ The Montana Standard, October 21, 2014 Zinke, Lewis have final debate Charles S. Johnson – Abortion
  25. ^ High Country News Feb. 17, 2014 How political extremism and primary reforms limit choices for Western voters 'Top-two' primary systems banish third parties from the ballot. Sarah Jane Keller
  26. ^ Erickson, David; Briggeman, Kim (September 20, 2016). "Highway 200 crash kills Libertarian congressional candidate Mike Fellows". Missoulian. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  27. ^ Welch, Matt (September 20, 2016). "Montana Libertarian Party Chair and Congressional Candidate Mike Fellows Dies in a Car Crash at Age 59". Reason.com. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  28. ^ ABC FOX Montana, Sep 21, 2016 - Libertarian candidate for congress dies in highway crash By Cassidy Belus
  29. ^ KRTV, September 20, 2016 - Libertarian candidate killed in Blackfoot Valley crash

External links[edit]