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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Gianforte Denounces PAC Money In Governor's Race

U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte at January 2016 campaign rally in Helena during his run for governor.
Corin Cates-Carney
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In his first stump speech in the state capitol since announcing a bid for Governor, Greg Gianforte said he would not take special interest PAC money in his campaign.

Thursday, in his first stump speech in the state capitol since announcing a bid for Governor, Greg Gianforte said he would not take special interest PAC money in his campaign.

Gianforte announced his pledge at the Helena Sand and Gravel industrial yard.

“We believe that the people of Montana deserve transparency. And that's why today I want to send a message on behalf of all Montanans: No special interest PAC money in this campaign,” he said.

Prior to the press event, the Republican businessman from Bozeman delivered a signed pledge to not accept PAC money to Democratic Governor Steve Bullock’s office.

“I’ll tear up the checks. And I’m calling on Steve Bullock to do the same thing,” Gianforte said.

A spokesperson said the campaign has not kept track of the amounts or sources of PAC contributions before they were torn up or sent back to donors. Gianforte did not take questions from the press after his speech.

At the Democratic Party state Headquarters, party Executive Director Nancy Keenan said Gianforte’s move shows the size of his personal wealth. Gianforte founded a software business that sold for $1.5 billion in 2012.

“So it's pretty easy to say, ‘Oh, we are not going to take any money’, when he can write the personal check for millions and millions of dollars. Montana is not for sale,” Keenan said.

House Minority leader Chuck Hunter also condemned Gianforte’s pledge.

“Millionaires and out of state corporations are trying to buy elections to further their own agenda, and apparently Greg Gianforte is no different,” Hunter said.

Earlier this month, Gianforte released the last 10 years of tax returns to the Associated Press. He has also said that if he is elected as governor he will donate his salary to charity.

Gianforte will wrap up his first campaign tour of the state in Bozeman on today.

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