Montana Politics

Fundraising Numbers for Governor

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The big news in the fundraising race for governor is that Steve Bullock is raising a great deal of money, in fact almost as much as Corey Stapleton is spending in his bid to take 5th place in the Republican primary.

In his first quarter of fundraising as a candidate for governor, Bullock pulled in $157,000, bringing his cash on hand to nearly $328,000. His chief rival, Republican frontrunner Rick Hill, collected $95,000, bringing his cash on hand to nearly $259,000. That Bullock has outraised a connected “pro-business” Republican by a significant amount is a great sign for the campaign, but once the general rolls around, Bullock’s going to need a large reserve to deal with the third party attacks that the Citizens United decision is likely to generate. Anyone interested in preserving Montana’s environment and schools might consider adding to Bullock’s total here.

The fundraising story gets even more interesting when one looks down at the second and third tier Republican candidates.

Both Neil Livingstone and Corey Stapleton are going to be hard-pressed to describe themselves as fiscal conservatives, given the burn rate of their contributions. Livingstone raised $17,600 for the quarter–not bad for someone from out of state–but he spent $32,000, much of it in Montana communities like Lima (Peru) and Arlington (Virginia). His cash on hand? $1,641.

Stapleton’s situation is even worse. He raised $39,000 for the quarter and spent $42,000, but owes his own campaign $40,000. It seems like Stapleton really believes he can win this race, all evidence to the contrary.

Ken Miller raised $28,000 and spent $38,000, while Jim O’Hara raised $3,565 and spent $4,548.

With all of these numbers, it’s important to remember that fundraising doesn’t tell the whole story, but it certainly is a measure of enthusiasm for a candidate and the quality of his/her organization.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • Don, the woman’s name who Hill brought here to showcase and fundraise was a woman named Kathleen Marquardt. She is famous in the nutjob circles for being an anti-animal rights celebrity apparently. I’m still trying to find out what the guy’s name is. A quick google of this woman indicates what a busy little bee of a nutcase she is. I was told by a fellow protester that she and her fellow speaker were being investigated at the time for being involved in some sort of scam dealing with the elderly. I can’t remember exactly what it was, or how it turned out. If I can find out the guy’s name for sure, I will send it.

  • Does it really surprise you Pogie, that the Democrats (The Party of the Rich) have more money to spend than GOP candidates ?

    I’m rooting for Bullock to be the Dem candidate, so make sure all you libs send him a donation !

  • Thanks again, Eric, for the insight.

    Since, as you always claim, the Democrats are the party of the rich, doesn’t that mean we are better at capitalism?

    Go Democrats!

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