Bob Kelleher

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Kelleher in 2009

Robert Kelleher (March 30, 1923 – May 29, 2011), was an American attorney who spent most of his life in Butte, Montana. A perennial candidate, he served in elected office during the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention. He ran for several political offices on various party tickets, including those of the Democratic Party and the Green Party. He was the 2008 Republican Party nominee for the United States Senate.[1]

Kelleher espoused a mix of left-and-right-wing political views. He was best known for advocating that the United States adopt a Parliamentary system of government. He was a strong pro-life advocate, and also favored single-payer health care. Starting in 1964, Kelleher ran for public office 16 times, including a bid for the Presidency in 1976,[1] where he made the ballot in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Georgia.[2] He was a major party nominee, on the Democratic party ticket, for the U.S. House of Representatives in the former Montana District 2 ("Eastern District") in 1968.[1]

In June 2008, he won a surprise victory in a five-way primary election on the Republican ticket to be chosen as the nominee to face incumbent U.S. Senator Max Baucus. It was his second run against Baucus, whom he also challenged in the 2002 Senate race on the Green party ticket (2.3%). He also ran for the U.S. Senate in 1988. In the 2008 United States Senate election in Montana, he got 27% of the vote against Baucus. He was snubbed by the GOP post-nomination and received no funding,[3]

Kelleher took many positions that were highly unorthodox by GOP standards, such as favoring more liberal drug control policies, supporting universal healthcare and affirmative action, and favoring fair trade restrictions. Erik Iverson, chairman of the Montana Republican Party, said, "Bob's ideology, with the exception that he's pro-life, doesn't even remotely resemble the platform of the Montana Republican Party."[4][5]

Kelleher died May 29, 2011, in Billings, Montana, a practicing lawyer until his death.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Johnson - 03/13/2008, Charles S. "Bob Kelleher files for Senate". Montana Standard.
  2. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart.
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Chuck. "Frequent candidate Kelleher dies at 88".
  4. ^ Bureau, JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State. "16th time a charm for veteran candidate".
  5. ^ Johnson, Kirk (August 11, 2008). "Candidate Shocks Party and Himself". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
N/A: First nominee
Green Party nominee for United States Senator from Montana
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
N/A: Robert Kelleher
Preceded by
Mike Taylor
Republican nominee for United States Senator from Montana
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Steve Daines