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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Outside Groups Try To Influence Montana U.S. Senate Race

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D)

An outside group is running ads trying to influence voters in Montana's U.S. Senate race — a battle between Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock that could be key in determining which party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate.

A political action committee of Republicans who oppose President Donald Trump’s reelection is running ads in Montana in support of Bullock’s candidacy, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

The Lincoln Project was founded in 2019 by several people including George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. The ads criticize Trump's leadership abilities and question his health and character as well as endorse former Vice President Joe Biden's candidacy for president.

“Bullock represents the best of America’s ideals. He cares about his constituents and works every day to make sure their lives are better," said John Weaver, another founder who is a former executive director of the Republican Party in Texas.

The ad does not mention Daines, but does show a picture of him. Trump has said he plans to campaign in Montana on behalf of Republican candidates.

“It should come as no surprise that an out-of-state, Never-Trump special interest group is supporting Steve Bullock, who has said his single issue this election is defeating President Donald Trump in November,” said Julia Doyle, a Daines spokeswoman.

Bullock’s campaign declined to comment.

Meanwhile, a Texas-based conservative group is funding the Go Green Montana PAC to support Green Party candidate Wendie Fredrickson of Helena in her bid for the U.S. Senate, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported.

The Green Party of Montana said it has no affiliation with the PAC, has had no contact with Fredrickson and is not endorsing her candidacy.

Recent filings with the Federal Election Commission show Go Green Montana received $45,500 from a group called CSG Action, which has the same address as Citizens for Self-Governance, which opposes government encroachment in healthcare, education and economic policies.

The Montana Republican Party paid for the signature-gathering effort that qualified the Green Party for the ballot in an apparent effort to draw votes away from Bullock.

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