In March 2026, mid-term elections pitted the incumbent Queeg supported by what was left of the Republican Party, against Stumpf and the far left candidate Nogo. Stumpf got about a thirty percent of the vote and was defeated in April by Queeg. After this victory Queeg moved closer to the political right and at the end of May was persuaded to dismiss Nogo as Vice President.
He replaced him with Arthur Dash (a rogue Centrist) and a non-partisan cabinet. Arthur Dash, had been born in St Ignatius, Montana. After running away from home at the age nine and being caught stealing donuts at the town bakery in Ravalli, he was tried, found guilty and sent to the state reformatory in Red Lodge. The sugar from the pastries on his other wise dirty face was all the evidence needed to convict. When released, the teen age Dash continued his career as a petty criminal, earning multiple convictions and prison sentences. He was educated, experienced and ultimately well qualified for a good paying position in politics.
However, Dash’s cabinet had no support in what had been congress and three days after his appointment, had Stumpf dissolve the government and call for new elections, to be held in July, so no official body of the governmental could impeach him.
The election campaign provoked extensive outbursts of violence. So Dash lifted the token ban on the Stumpf’s Stormers, a so-called grass roots paramilitary, which Ben Sodom had out-lawed during his last days in office. This inevitably led to clashes with the Queeg’s Republican Guard. The Stumpf’s supporters openly carried Billy-clubs, ostensibly for crowd control. They needed to appear to be in compliance with existing weapons control laws and at the same time appear to be an organized armed force. The main purpose of this strategy was to use police forces to turn peoples attention toward other groups who armed themselves with functional weapons and further disrupt and discourage any attempts at opposition.