Moderate, conservative Republicans lash out ahead of state GOP convention

Jun 5, 2013

Montana’s Republican faithful are preparing for their annual convention this Friday and Saturday, despite an unusually stark division between certain factions of the party—specifically legislators.

The increasingly public split between hardline conservatives and a group of moderates labeling themselves ‘Responsible Republicans’ became apparent throughout the course of the 2013 Legislature, with the moderates breaking away from party leadership to side with Democrats on many of the session’s key issues.

State Republican Party Chairman Will Deschamps said no one side of this split will be emphasized over the other at the convention.

“What we can do is try and talk about unity,” Deschamps said. “Talk about how we have to start respecting one another.”

Deschamps running to be re-elected as party chairman against two opponents, Gary Carlson of Victor and Don Hart of Bozeman.

Republicans will also be hearing from party leaders like Congressman Steve Daines during two-day convention.