Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who is running an uphill race in the Democratic presidential contest, said in an interview on Fox News that he will “help whoever challenges Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), but it won’t be me.” Democratic Party leaders have been attempting to recruit Gov. Bullock into the Senate race and away from his presidential quest, in similar fashion to their strategy with now ex-presidential candidate John Hickenlooper in Colorado. But, so far, Gov. Bullock is not budging nor giving any indication that he will switch to the Senate race. Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins, author Jack Ballard, and Navy veteran John Mues are the three announced Democratic candidates.
At-large Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) just publicized an internal Moore Information Republican primary poll (methodology statistics not released) that posts him to a large lead over his Republican primary opponents, Attorney General Tim Fox and state Sen. Al Olszewski (R-Kalispell). According to the MI results, Mr. Gianforte’s margin is 56-17-5% over his two rivals, respectively.
Before winning a 2017 special at-large congressional election and a full term last November, Rep. Gianforte was the 2016 Republican gubernatorial nominee losing to incumbent Steve Bullock (D), 50-46%.
As has been expected for some time, Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney (D), who was appointed in January of 2016 to replace his resigned predecessor and will serve the entire second term under Governor and now Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock, announced that he will run to attempt to succeed his boss. Also in the Democratic primary are state House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner (D-Great Falls) and former state Rep. Reilly Neill. Republicans are featuring a major primary battle between Attorney General Tim Fox and at-large US Representative and 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman).
The Montana at-large seat hasn’t been open for even a week, and already the Club for Growth is running attack ads against one of the new Republican candidates. The subject is Secretary of State Corey Stapleton who was met with the paid opposition media just two days after he decided to swing into the at-large House seat from the Governor’s campaign. The CfG is supporting state Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) for the open House seat, as they did in his Senate race last year against incumbent Jon Tester (D).
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who was aced out of appearing in the first presidential candidate forum scheduled for Miami late next week after it had originally appeared that he had secured a podium, has qualified via the polling option for the second debate. The Detroit forum is scheduled for July 30-31.
The development means that at least one of the participants in the first debate will not return for the second. Polling is the tie-breaking factor, so whoever lags in the sanctioned surveys behind Gov. Bullock, likely New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, will not appear on either night of the Detroit debate series.
With at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) now officially running for Governor, it didn’t take long for the Montana political musical chairs to start moving. Yesterday, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton confirmed that he will exit the open Governor’s race and enter the newly open Republican primary for the at-large US House seat. Additionally, state Auditor Matt Rosendale, who lost the US Senate race to incumbent Jon Tester (D) in November, says he will also again become a congressional candidate.
Both Messrs. Stapleton and Rosendale ran for the House before, and against each other. They both lost a close three-way Republican primary contest to Navy Seal Ryan Zinke in 2014. The latter man would go onto win the House race, and then eventually be appointed Interior Secretary in the Trump Administration. We can expect more candidates to soon announce their intentions.
At-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman), as expected, formally entered the 2020 open Montana Governor’s race in an address to the Montana Republican Party state convention delegates.
Now, the political musical chairs may begin. With Gianforte entering a contest that already includes Republican Attorney General Tim Fox and GOP Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, it remains to be seen if any of the aforementioned now seek the open House seat instead. Already surfacing for the House contest are familiar names of people who have lost several races combined, such as defeated 2018 Senate candidate Matt Rosendale (R), ex-District Judge Russ Fagg (R), and state Sen. Al Olszewski (R-Kalispell).
Democrats already have two congressional candidates, both who had announced against Mr. Gianforte. Former state Representative and 2018 congressional nominee Kathleen Williams and state Rep. Tom Winter (D-Missoula) launched their respective campaigns weeks ago.
With at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) set to enter the 2020 Governor’s race later this week, two Democrats announced that they will attempt to succeed fellow Democrat Steve Bullock, the term-limited incumbent Governor who is running for President. Up until yesterday, no Democrat had announced. Now, state House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner (D-Great Falls) is an official candidate as is former state Rep. Reilly Neill (D-Livingston).
Mr. Gianforte will join Attorney General Tim Fox and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton in the Republican primary along with state Sen. Al Olszewski (R-Kalispell) and former state Sen. Gary Perry. With Gianforte vacating the at-large House seat, it is possible we could see some of the aforementioned move into the now-open federal race. We can expect a competitive Montana nomination and general election campaign to unfold throughout this election cycle.
As expected, at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) filed documents with the Montana Secretary of State’s office indicating that he will run for Governor next year. A Gianforte spokesman says the Congressman will announce his gubernatorial bid at the Montana Republican Party convention toward the end of this week. Mr. Gianforte lost the 2016 Governor’s race to incumbent Steve Bullock (D), but then turned around and won the at-large special election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) when the latter man became Interior Secretary in the Trump Administration.
The at-large open House seat will likely draw a number of candidates from both parties and will assuredly be competitive as a general election campaign.
Possibly as early as today, at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) is expected to announce his 2020 gubernatorial candidacy. Mr. Gianforte held Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to a 50-46% victory in 2016, and the latter man, an official presidential candidate, is ineligible to seek a third term.
Rep. Gianforte already has formidable Republican opponents. Attorney General Tim Fox and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton are both in the race, and with two congressional victories of under 51%, Gianforte’s nomination is no sure thing. His gubernatorial declaration will make MT-AL the ninth open House seat for the coming election cycle.
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