Montana Public Radio

Whitney Williams

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney announces his economic plan for the state during a July 30 press conference in Missoula. Todd Frank and Whitney Williams look on.
Charles Bolte / Montana Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney Thursday unveiled an economic plan for the state. Cooney’s plan emphasizes in-state hiring for state contractors; growing rural economies; and empowering women in the workforce.

Favorites in the top races won their primaries but the general election may not be as predictable. President Trump plans to campaign in Montana for his favorite Steve. And hard-line conservatives celebrate legislative primary victories.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Attack Ads, Voter Turnout And The Republican Party's Future

May 29, 2020

There's still time to get your ballot in before Tuesday's primary, but you'll need to deliver it in person. Voter turnout could be heading to a new record for a primary. New ads in the Senate and gubernatorial races follow political playbooks. Democrats seek to increase Native American participation. And some key primary races could set the future direction of the state Republican Party.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.


Heading into this election cycle, Republicans control both chambers of Montana’s Legislature. If they keep those majorities and win the governor's office, it'll be the first time since 2004 the GOP could control both those branches of the Montana state government. Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping to keep their decade-and-a-half hold on the executive.

With incumbent Gov. Steve Bullock termed out, two Democrats, three Republicans, a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate are vying to become Montana’s next chief executive.

Campaign Beat: Big Money Is Pouring In To Montana's Elections

May 22, 2020

Outside PAC money is pouring into Montana's races for Senate and governor - one indication of how competitive those races are. But money isn't the only factor, which gives some underdogs hope. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney gets criticized for participating in a campaign call in his state office. Absentee ballot collection remains a contentious issue. And Montanans likely aren't as leery as the president when it comes to voting by mail.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney talk with reporters in the State Capitol about state budget cuts, July 25, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The battle against COVID-19 is helping shape the race for governor, giving Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney an unexpected boost as he faces Whitney Williams, a well-financed Democratic primary opponent with an extensive political network.

The pandemic has also upended the Republican race between Attorney General Tim Fox, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and state Sen. Al Olszewski ahead of what is now an all-mail June 2nd primary election

“With this coronavirus turning the campaign upside down, there is not one single candidate that understands what’s the best way to campaign in this environment," Olszewski said. "Nobody."

Whitney Williams
Courtesy

Montana Public Radio is gathering information on all statewide primary candidates to publish as a resource for our audience. We asked all the statewide candidates to respond to the following questions via email, limiting their answers to 300 words per question. These are their unedited responses.

Gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams:

Mike Cooney
Courtesy Mike Cooney

The Montana Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices, alleging Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney participated in a campaign strategy call in his office at the Capitol.

Gov. Bullock resists pressure to cut spending because of the economic fallout of the pandemic. Republican candidates sound familiar themes in their new campaign ads. Montana has a higher number of women running for office this year. And why some Democrats are thinking about voting for a Republican in the primary.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A new poll indicates Montana's U.S. Senate race will be a dogfight. The race for governor gets testy. And two new ads focus on abortion as a major campaign issue.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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