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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Fox Is The Big Front-Runner In 2020 Campaign Fundraising

Tim Fox, an Corey Stapleton are Republican candidates running for governor in 2020. Democrat Kimberly Dudik and Republican  Jon Bennion are running for attorney general in 2020.

Tim Fox has raised substantially more money than any other candidate running for a statewide office in Montana so far.

Campaign finance reports for the 2020 election filed Friday show Fox has raised nearly $204,000 since January 1. Fox, who is currently Montana’s attorney general, is running for governor.

The only other announced candidate who reports fundraising in that race is Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton. Both Stapleton and Fox are Republicans. Stapleton reports raising more than $65,000, with most of that leftover from the 2018 reporting period. Tim Fox reported no fundraising in 2018.

Stapleton’s biggest expense has been $3,500 to a campaign consulting firm in Chicago. Fox’s biggest expenditure to date has been roughly the same amount to a company in Virginia for a fundraising mailer. In total, Fox has outspent Stapleton more than two-to-one since the first of the year, but the numbers are still small at about $12,000 for Fox and $5,000 for Stapleton.

Republican State Sen. Al Olszewski announced his campaign after the campaign finance reporting deadline.

There are two candidates running to replace Fox as attorney general. Republican Jon Bennion is Fox’s chief deputy, and reports raising just over $70,000 since January one. Democrat Kim Dudik, currently serving in the Montana House representing Missoula has raised a little more than $5,000 so far.

Montana Senate President Scott Sales has announced a campaign for Secretary of State, but has not reported any fundraising so far.

Democrats Tom Winter and Kathleen Williams have announced campaigns for Montana’s U.S. House seat. Candidates in that race report fundraising and spending to federal authorities and didn’t have to meet Friday’s state reporting deadline.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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