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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Gianforte, Bullock Campaign On Education In Helena

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte toured ExplorationWorks! science center in Helena September 02, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte toured ExplorationWorks! science center in Helena September 02, 2016.

The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor focused on education today in campaign stops in Helena.

Republican Greg Gianforte toured the science center ExplorationWorks! in Helena this morning.

While on the campaign trail the software entrepreneur from Bozeman often stresses the importance of exposing students to computer science programs.

He praised the work of the nonprofit museum for providing opportunities for public and homeschool students to interact with science. Gianforte told ExplorationWorks! staff that if more kids get into science programs while they’re young, it could get more of them pursuing needed technology jobs in the future.

"If you don’t have the techies it's like a farmer not having seed, you don’t get the harvest. The work you are doing is very important. You expose and take the mystery out of it and make it fun."

Gianforte says Montana STEM education — science technology, engineering and math — is critical in preparing students for their future. He says he fully supports the Republican party’s candidate for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen.

As Gianforte finished his tour of ExplorationWorks!, just down the street outside Helena Middle School, the Democratic party held a small rally for their candidates.

Melissa Romano, the party’s candidate for the top job at OPI, told the crowd she would work to preserve what she called the state’s already excellent public schools. She also pledged to create a plan for public preschool.

Governor Steve Bullock’s stump speech was void of policy announcements and focused primarily on firing up the party base while slighting his opponent.

"Let's not kid ourselves: Montana would look fundamentally different, and our public system would look fundamentally different if we don’t make sure that 66 days from now,  Melissa Romano gets elected and you re-elect me as governor."

Gov. Steve Bullock stumps for Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Melissa Romano in Helena September 02, 2016.
Credit Corin Cates-Carney
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Gov. Steve Bullock stumps for Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Melissa Romano in Helena September 02, 2016.

Romano’s latest campaign report shows she spent over $50,000 in the last month in her election effort, leaving her with $76,000 in the bank.

Her opponent, Republican Elsie Arntzen, spent $10,000 last month, but has over $100,000 in funds remaining.

The winner of that race will replace current Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, who has termed out of the position.

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