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2024 Montana Primary elections
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Gov. Bullock Withdraws From Presidential Race

Gov. Steve Bullock announces his candidacy for president in Helena, Mont., May 14, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney
Montana Public Radio
Gov. Steve Bullock announces his candidacy for president in Helena, Mont., May 14, 2019.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is withdrawing from the 2020 presidential race. Bullock said in a statement Monday morning that it’s clear he won’t become the Democratic party’s nominee.

After his late entrance into the presidential race Bullock wasn’t able to break into the crowded field of Democrats competing for media and donor attention. Bullock failed to reach required polling and fundraising numbers needed to appear in most of the Democratic party’s nationally televised debates.

The sitting governor’s absence at the first debate was highlighted in a skit this June on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

"Tonight America finds out where Governor Bullock stands on key issues. And also, what he looks like," Colbert joked.

The two-term governor and former state attorney general entered the presidential race in May. Bullock focused his presidential campaign message on his credentials of winning reelection as a Democrat in a state that backed Trump by 20 points in 2016.

Bullock said in his statement Monday, "while there are many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates."

As Bullock sought the nomination for president some within his own party called on him to run for the U.S. Senate to mount a challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines. In an interview with Montana Public Radio shortly after announcing his bid for president, Bullock said he was ruling out a run for the U.S. Senate.

"My experience is as an executive, not as a legislator. I’ve been able to have success in that arena and that’s where I think my talents are best suited," he said.

Bullock’s presidential campaign told the Associated Press again Monday he would not run for the U.S. Senate.

Bullock is term-limited and cannot run again for governor.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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