Looks like the Montana Republican Party is rolling over for gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte.
There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding Gianforte (finally) announcing his bid for governor. Very little mention of Brad Johnson, though. A current Republican PSC commissioner and former secretary of state, Johnson announced an exploratory bid back in May of 2015.
The Billings Gazette says that Johnson will face off against Gianforte in the June 2016 Republican primary but a visit to the Montana Secretary of State’s candidate filings and Johnson is nowhere to be found. Then again, neither Gianforte nor Bullock show up either. Maybe they’re all just late with the paperwork.
I was hoping for a spirited Republican primary with Johnson as the more, and I use this term loosely, moderate party insider against the way-out-in-right-field outsider Gianforte.
But money talks. A quick look at the campaign reports at the commissioner of political practices’ office has Johnson raising zero dollars in the quarter ending September, 2015 (the latest quarter filings through December, 2015, aren’t online yet). An earlier filing shows Johnson with $1013.74 in the bank. The Gazette reports that Gianforte has raised more than $300,000. Yikes!
Is Johnson D.O.A.? Maybe the Republican Party will keep him around so that Gianforte can raise money in both the primary and general elections. Time will tell.