On Monday, the Independent Record reported that Montana's Republican state auditor, Troy Downing, has denounced a controversial invocation by a pro-Trump pastor given at his swearing in ceremony.
"Eric Jacobs, a reverend and electrical contractor from Bozeman, delivered the invocation," reported Tom Kuglin. "Downing spokesman Sam Loveridge described Jacobs as an acquaintance of the new state auditor."
"Jacobs referred to the coronavirus pandemic as 'false' and meant to induce fear, called for members of the 'deep state' to be arrested and prayed that the presidential election be overturned based on unfounded claims of election fraud," continued the report. "'In many states, our ability to cast a vote and know it will be counted has been compromised and stolen,' Jacobs said in reference to accusations of voter fraud in swing states. 'The corruption in our government is rampant and goes from the workers in the street all the way to the Supreme Court.'"
Downing ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 Senate primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. That same year, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanors after obtaining a resident hunting license despite not having a residence in Montana at the time.