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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Supreme Court Candidates Relying Mostly On Self Funding

Montana Supreme Court seal

There’s a three-way race underway for a seat on the Montana Supreme Court. Each of the candidates are relying on self funding to get their 2020 campaigns off the ground.

Justice Laurie McKinnon, who lives in Helena, is running for reelection after announcing last year she would not seek a second eight-year term on the state high court.

According to most recent campaign finance reports due this week, McKinnon’s campaign funding is lagging behind two challengers starting off election year. A personal loan to the campaign of around $3,200 accounts for nearly all of McKinnon’s funds.

Helena Attorney Michael Black, who was first to enter the race last summer, has more than $63,000 in his campaign bank account to close out the fundraising quarter. More than $40,000 of that is personal loans to the campaign.

Mars Scott, an attorney from Missoula, is bankrolling his campaign kickoff too, with nearly all of his funding coming from more than $7,500 in loans.

Montana’s Supreme Court is made up of seven justices elected in nonpartisan elections or appointed in the case of midterm vacancies.

The high court seat currently held by Justice Jim Shea is also on the ballot this year, no one has yet filed for that position.

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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