Don Kaltschmidt reelected as chair of the Montana Republican Party
Don Kaltschmidt at the Don K dealership in Whitefish. (Daily Inter Lake FILE)
Daily Inter Lake | June 14, 2023 12:00 PM
Don “K” Kaltschmidt, a Flathead Valley automobile dealer and known Republican voice, was reelected last weekend to a third term as chair of the Montana GOP.
The Montana Republican Party voted June 10 to reelect Kaltschmidt at its Officers’ Convention. State Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway was tapped to serve a third term as vice chair.
“Since I have been chairman, the MTGOP has achieved historic success,” Kaltschmidt said in a statement. “Republicans in Montana now maintain control of 8 out of 9 statewide offices. Thanks to the hard work of our elected Montana State Legislators, the GOP supermajority had an incredibly successful 68th Legislative Session. Through our strong grassroots movement, exceptional team, and continued momentum, we will continue to advance conservative values across our state in the 2024 election cycle.”
Kaltschmidt, who owns the Don K dealership in Whitefish, was first elected to lead the state party in 2019, replacing Debra Lamm. Kaltschmidt previously served as finance chair for the Flathead County Republican Central Committee.
“Obviously, from a statewide position I represent the entire state, but Flathead County is a very important county in Republican politics,” Kaltschmidt said regarding his political roots. “It is the reddest county in Montana with the population size it has … it votes more Republican more consistently and in bigger numbers.”
He also ran for state senate in 2016, where he was defeated in Montana’s Senate District 3 Republican Primary by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell. In 2012, Kaltschmidt was a Montana delegate to the Republican National Convention.
The Montana Republican Party is enthusiastic and more united than ever before, according to Kaltschmidt. They look forward to victories across the state — particularly regarding the race for U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s seat, the only Democrat representing Montana in Washington, D.C.
“We do have a winning strategy and also a winning track record,” Kaltschmidt said.
The 2024 election cycle will showcase the contested race against Tester for his seat by probable Republican candidate Tim Sheehy, the CEO and founder of Bridger Aerospace. Replacing Tester with a Republican, Kaltschmidt said, is a top goal for the Montana GOP.
“I have no doubt that next year we will elect Republicans up and down the ballot,” he said. “Republicans are focused on making Montana bright red and most of all retiring Democrat Jon Tester from his Senate career.”
Reporter Kate Heston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-4459.