Montana Congressional candidate dies in Potomac crash

Montana Congressional candidate, Michael C. Fellows, died in a head on collision Monday night in Potomac.

Fellows was running as a Libertarian.

A Montana Highway Patrol dispatcher told MTN News that Fellows, 59, was driving a Lexus passenger car west on Montana Highway 200 near Potomac when he crossed the center line just after 9 p.m.

A car driven by a 58-year-old woman from Potomac attempted to avoid the Lexus, by moving to the right shoulder, but the two cars collided in a head-on collision.

Fellows died on the scene while the woman was taken to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. MHP says both drivers were wearing their seat belts and that the roads were bare and dry at the time of the crash.

Fellows was transported to the Montana State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy. The Montana Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the fatal accident.

Congressman Ryan Zinke posted on his Twitter page his condolences for the Fellows family saying “My sincerest condolences to the Fellows family, his friends and followers. Mike was a true advocate for the Libertarian cause & a good Man.”

Democratic Congressional candidate Denise Juneau issued the following statement on Twitter in reaction to the death: “I’m shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Mike Fellows. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Zinke and Juneau issued a joint statement on the passing of Fellows.

Today, Montana House candidates, Congressman Ryan Zinke and Superintendent Denise Juneau, offered their condolences following the announcement of Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows’ passing. 

“My sincerest condolences to the Fellows family, his friends, and followers. Mike was a true advocate for the Libertarian cause and a good man. He had incredible passion for his platform and he will be missed in Montana.” – Congressman Ryan Zinke.

“I’m shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Mike Fellows. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Mike was a passionate advocate for his values, and I have always admired his courage and dedication to serving Montana. He will be missed.” – Superintendent Denise Juneau. 

Governor Steve Bullock and Lt Governor Mike Cooney offer the statement below regarding the passing of Libertarian candidate for Montana’s congressional seat:

“Mike Fellows was committed and dedicated to the Libertarian cause. This is truly a sad day for Montana and we thank him for his service.” 

Senator Jon Tester issued the following statement regarding the tragic death of Mike Fellows:

“Sharla and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the entire Fellows family. Mike was a good man, a determined public servant, and a strong advocate for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and our Second Amendment rights. Montana will miss his contributions to our democracy and our way of life.”

Fellows was deeply involved in politics from a young age. His first foray into politics was in 1980, as a 23-year-old volunteer for Libertarian Ed Clark’s 1980 presidential campaign.

In 1993, Fellows was named the chair of Missoula County’s Libertarian party.

In 1998 he vied for Montana State House of Representatives. That same year, he ran for Montana’s lone seat in the U-S House of Representatives for the first time, a position he would seek seven more times.

Despite his presence on most ballots for nearly two decades, Fellows was never elected to office.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says this is the first time during her eight years in office that a candidate on the ballot has died.

McCulloch says she is consulting with her technical advisory committee on how to change Fellows’ name on the general election ballots, which have already been printed. She says state law outlines what happens after a candidate’s death.