GREAT FALLS — Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter announced in a video several days ago that he plans to run for re-election - but unlike the 2018 election, which he won as a Democrat, this time he plans to run as a Republican.
Slaughter defeated incumbent Bob Edwards in the 2018 Democratic primary. Slaughter then defeated GOP candidate Bob Rosipal in the general election.
Slaughter said in the video that he has repeatedly come under fire from elected Democratic officials for his belief that the Constitution is "concrete" and is not subject to a "progressive interpretation," specifically citing the Second Amendment.
In response, the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee called for Slaughter to resign, and claimed that Slaughter's switch to the GOP is "less a conviction and more a calculation."
Ron Szabo, the chairman of the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee, released a statement that reads, in part:
Jesse’s announcement on June 15th that he would be running for re-election as a Republican was not a surprise. Many people in Cascade County supported Jesse because he presented himself as a Democrat. He would not have won election without that support. Now, he is able run for office with all the benefits of being an incumbent. Jesse Slaughter has betrayed the trust voters placed in him for the sake of a contrived political maneuver. The CCDCC calls on him to resign his position, allow the Democrats who elected him to replace him as provided by law, and give the voters an honest choice in the next election.
Cyndi Baker, chair of the Cascade County Republican Central Committee, released the following statement in response to Slaughter's political switch:
I would like to welcome Sheriff Jesse Slaughter to the party of common sense and American values. He has the support of every republican legislator in Cascade County. As the most recent election showed, our county is now solidly red and there is no reason to think that this switch will do anything but enhance his future election prospects. We laud Sheriff Slaughter’s desire to stand up for all the citizens in Cascade County and know he will continue to do an outstanding job no matter the party designation.