Montana Gubernatorial Campaign Fundraising Approaches Record Highs
This year’s race for Montana’s governor seat could become the state’s most expensive gubernatorial contest, eclipsing the spirited and expensive campaign four years ago.
Democrat incumbent Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte brought in a total of more than $3.8 million in campaign contributions through last week's primary.
That’s already nearly as much as the $3.9 million Bullock and his opponent Republican Rick Hill collected during the entire 2012 gubernatorial campaign.
So far, Gianforte has raised more than $2 million. More than $400,000 of that came from personal contributions and loans. The Bozeman software entrepreneur is making his first bid for public office.
He’s spent just over a million dollars to introduce himself to voters, including hundreds of thousands of dollars for television ads.
Bullock has raised more than $2 million and has just over a million left to finance his re-election.
Still unclear is the role of outside money in the race. Cash from independent campaign committees has been flowing on behalf of Bullock and Gianforte, even though neither faced serious competition during the June 7 primary.