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Party tells former RNC chair that he’s no longer a Republican

Marc Racicot was a Republican governor and a former RNC chair. That didn't stop the Montana GOP from approving a resolution kicking him out of the party.


On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to question Marc Racicot’s partisanship. The Montanan served as a Republican state attorney general, a popular two-term Republican governor, and a chairman of the Republican National Committee.

But that record does not appear to have impressed the current leadership of the Montana Republican Party. The Helena Independent Record reported:

Former Republican Gov. Marc Racicot said over the weekend that the Montana Republican Party recently informed him of a resolution voted on and approved by party leadership declaring he is no longer considered a Republican. ... Racicot said in an interview over the weekend that he was not warned or informed of the resolution before it was voted on and sent to him.

According to the state party’s resolution, news organizations are discouraged from referring to Racicot as a Republican, despite his affiliation with the party and his professional background.

As regular readers know, I’ve kept an eye on Racicot in recent years, as his party started to leave him behind. Shortly before the 2020 presidential election, for example, the Montanan announced that he’s supporting Joe Biden’s candidacy, citing the importance of “character” and “conscience.”

The former RNC chair added soon after that he saw Donald Trump’s presidency as “dangerous to the existence of the republic as we know it.”

Last year, after the RNC formally censured two Republican House members for seeking the truth about the Jan. 6 attack, Racicot wrote an anguished four-page letter, making a spirited case that the party was on the wrong track.

Republicans, of course, ignored it.

The former governor proceeded to endorse some Democratic candidates in the 2022 election cycle, and voiced support for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination.

“The hierarchy for me in values and loyalty is first of all to my country and my state, and then to my party,” Racicot told the local newspaper over the weekend. “In 35 years, I don’t think I’ve changed one bit. I don’t feel like I have changed my views of the world.”

That is very easy to believe. In all likelihood, Racicot has probably changed very little in recent decades, maintaining the same values and priorities he embraced while in positions of authority.

To borrow an old cliché, he didn’t leave the Republican Party; the Republican Party left him.

It’s likely that local officials in Montana took a degree of satisfaction in kicking Racicot out of the party, but if the contemporary Republican Party has reached the point at which a former RNC chairman is no longer welcome, that says more about the party than it does about Racicot.