Mansfield is Gernant’s campaign treasurer

Mike Mansfield has not only endorsed Missoula’s Tyler Gernant for Congress, but he’s apparently working on his campaign.

A tad perplexing, right?

I flinched when I first received an e-mail from the Gernant campaign, which contained a disclosure box at the bottom of the page that indicated Mike Mansfield, most notably thought of as Montana’s late and much-loved statesmen, was Gernant’s treasurer. At first I thought it was a joke, but every e-mail since has included the same disclosure box.

Gernant is vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Congressmen Denny Rehberg in November 2010. But first, he must win a primary election a year from now against Montana Democratic Party Chairman Dennis McDonald.

Figuring that campaign disclosure was something a candidate would probably not mess around with, I decided to call Gernant’s campaign manager, Nathan Kosted, to get the bottom of this.

“I remember having the exact same reaction,” he assured me.

Come to find out, Gernant’s treasurer is the late Montana senator’s nephew, whose name is also Mike. Gernant’s dad grew up with him in Great Falls, Kosted said.

Case closed.

— Chelsi Moy