MTPR

Kathleen Williams

Democratic Candidate Kathleen Williams says she's raised more than $400,000 for her campaign for Montana's open US House seat in 2020
Corin Cates-Carney

Corrected 7/16/19 7:10 p.m.

The keynote speaker at Montana Democrats’ state convention this weekend said party is going to keep on losing if they don’t do more to convince rural voters to back them. 

Heidi Heitkamp, who won a U.S. Senate seat from North Dakota in 2012, but lost to a Republican by more than 10 points in 2018 says Democrats have ignored rural America at their own peril.

Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines has reported raising more than $1 million over the last three months for his reelection bid in 2020.

All candidates in Montana races for the U.S. House and Senate were required to disclose their quarterly fundraising and spending Monday.

Kathleen Williams, Matt Rains and John Mues speak at the Montana Democrats' convention in Helena, July 12 & 13, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney. / Montana Public Radio

Montana Democrats held their state convention in Helena over the weekend. They heard from nearly a dozen candidates for statewide and federal office, and from a former U.S. senator who told them the party needs to pay more attention to rural voters if it wants to win in the 2020 elections.

Montana Public Radio's Corin Cates-Carney covered the convention, as did freelance reporter Alex Sakariassen. They joined John Adams of the Montana Free Press to talk about what they saw. 

Women hold  pro-choice signs during a rally in Missoula, May 21, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montanans in Missoula, Billings and Kalispell today joined nationwide protests against abortion bans in southern states.

At the Missoula County Courthouse speakers expressed outrage over legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri to a crowd of about 200 people.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: It was hard-fought, but Medicaid expansion will continue in Montana, and Gov. Bullock is celebrating the big legislative win. Moderate Republicans once again tipped the scales on Medicaid and other big items. Greg Gianforte appears ready to leave Congress, giving Democrats a glimmer of hope of retaking the seat. The Legislature is ready to wrap up after the Easter break.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state budget sails through the Legislature; Gov. Bullock says he's "skeptical" about the "save Colstrip" bill; a Colstrip senator launches a vitriolic video slamming press coverage of the Colstrip bill; Attorney General Tim Fox opposes ending Obamacare; and three more candidates enter the races for governor and U.S. House. 

Kathleen Williams announces her 2020 run for the U.S. House seat as Billings physician Anne Giuliano and retired oil refinery operator JW Westman look on at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, April 5, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

A second Democrat has tossed her hat in the ring in the run for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat.

Former state lawmaker Kathleen Williams announced her 2020 bid today on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in Billings.

Another Republican joins the 2020 race for governor. Republicans may be open to borrowing money for infrastructure projects — with a catch. A proposal for the state to buy a coal-fired power plant gets a rocky reception. Why passing new taxes could get harder. And a new poll shows the power of independent voters in Montana. Learn more now on "Capitol Talk" with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Corin Cates-Carney.

Spending by Candidates In Montana's U.S. Senate Races, 2000-2018. Data: opensecrets.org, fec.org
Corin Cates Carney

The candidates for Montana's two contested seats in Congress this year, and their supporters, spent more than $76 million over the last two years in their election campaigns.

The U.S. Senate race between Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale brought in most of that money, making it the most expensive election contest in state history.

Tester picks up votes in Trump country, and Montanans continue a long tradition of ticket-splitting. Governor Bullock has his hands full with another Republican-led Legislature, and this election stands out in many ways from previous Montana mid-terms. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin break it all down in this season's final installment of "Campaign Beat."

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