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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Democrat Ryan Busse joins the race for Montana governor

Ryan Busse
Courtesy of the Busse campaign.
Ryan Busse

A Democrat from Kalispell has jumped into the 2024 race to be Montana’s next governor. Ryan Busse is a former firearms executive who got national attention for his book that’s critical of the gun industry. He’s also been an outspoken critic of Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.

The Associated Press first reported the launch of Busse’s campaign early Thursday morning. The campaign quickly released a promotional video where Busse describes himself as a ranch kid, hunter, fisherman and a proud Democrat. He rebukes Gianforte’s tax policies, anti-abortion stance and approach to public education.

Two of Busse’s sons were among 16 youth plaintiffs who sued the state over inaction in addressing climate change. The plaintiffs won after a two-week trial this summer.

Gov. Gianforte has not yet announced his plans for 2024, although he’s eligible for a second term. Kaitlin Price, a spokesperson for the governor, says he “remains focused on building upon what he committed to do and has proudly accomplished so far,” like cutting taxes, paying down the state’s debt and increasing teacher pay.

Rep. Tanner Smith, a Republican from Lakeside, announced his campaign for the office in June.

Shaylee covers state government and politics for Montana Public Radio. Please share tips, questions and concerns at 406-539-1677 or  
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