John Schneeberger has announced that he is running for State Senate District 43 this year. The Senate district covers the southern Bitterroot Valley. Schneeberger currently works at the Bitterroot College after a long career in small business, economic development and non-profit organizations.
Schneeberger chose to announce his candidacy on January 6th. “This is the one-year anniversary of the most significant insurrection against the republic since the Civil War,” he said, and added “We are in uncharted waters when a President of the United States incites his supporters to storm the US Capitol because he lost the election.”
Schneeberger said he plans to run an unorthodox campaign. Asked how he will appeal to voters in deep red Ravalli County, John said: “State legislative races usually focus on local or, at least, state issues. Political consultants advise avoiding ‘nationalizing’ local races. I don’t need to nationalize this race because it is already nationalized. Getting elected will be a challenge because of a national perception of the Democratic Party in rural, predominantly conservative areas. Rural communities across the US have been conned by a new breed of authoritarians who are promoting the idea that only a strongman will protect us from fearful changes taking place in the world today. This movement mobilizes fear and resentment, using disinformation and conspiracy theories, to break down trust in our system of government. Their tactics include using the big lie about a stolen presidential election to corrupt future elections and end the American tradition of the peaceful transition of power.”
When asked if he thinks people will listen, Schneeberger said, “These days people filter out information that challenges their opinions and this has led to a polarized electorate that resides in what are known as ‘information bubbles’. But elections provide a unique platform to speak to all the people in my district. I will use this platform as the loyal opposition whose job it is to hold the opposing party accountable. I think it is needed now more than ever because radicals are now in control of the Republican Party and are undermining faith in the entire democratic experiment in self-government.”
His campaign will focus on raising awareness on these points: the 2020 presidential election was not stolen; there is no such thing as wide-spread voter fraud in the United States, large enough to affect the outcome of elections; the danger to our system of elections comes from the radicals in the Republican Party who want to make it harder for people to vote and easier for partisans to overturn the results of the elections; and that this is part of a dangerous, world-wide rush toward authoritarianism that is a threat to our republic.
Schneeberger said he wants to see if he can find common ground with anyone, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, who is willing to speak out about this existential danger to democracy in America.