Who’s behind Draft Schweitzer attempt?

2014-07-28T21:21:00Z 2014-07-30T12:51:09Z Who’s behind Draft Schweitzer attempt?Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette
July 28, 2014 9:21 pm  • 

HELENA — One man behind the effort to draft former Gov. Brian Schweitzer for president is a 24-year-old Connecticut educator who was impressed with the Montanan’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

“I have not had any contact with him,” Andrew Fredericksen said Monday. “I was talking with a friend of mine. After that 2008 speech, we thought he’d make a great president. We wanted to encourage him to run.”

Fredericksen is a special education tutor at Newington Public Schools in Connecticut and lives in Wolcott, Conn.

He said he’s been involved in local and state politics for a few years.

His friend is Pat Perugino, 23, who described himself to the Wall Street Journal as a Connecticut political consultant.

Last week, Fredericksen filled out forms by hand and filed them with the Federal Election Commission to form a committee unauthorized by Schweitzer that will make independent expenditures. He is the committee’s treasurer.

“We’re going to raise some money and build some support in this area to see who we can get to support him,” Fredericksen said. “Until he

definitely is running or not running, we’re going to keep up the pressure.”

The former Montana governor had hinted he may run for president in 2016.

However, Schweitzer was forced to apologize for remarks in a National Journal story last month that suggested that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., may be gay and compared Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., to a prostitute.

“Sometimes when politicians or anyone else are making a lot of interviews in a row, some things unfortunately slip out,”

Fredericksen said. “I accept his apology. I

don’t agree with his statements.”

Schweitzer has had no comment so far on the formation of the unauthorized committee.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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