HELENA, Mont. (UPI) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday he will run for the U.S. Senate, becoming the most high-profile Democratic candidate to take on incumbent Republican Steve Daines in November.
The two-term governor made the announcement in a Twitter post Monday morning, including a video listing his accomplishments, such as creating 34,000 new jobs and investing in infrastructure.
The video announcement also highlighted that he protected public lands and banned dark money from Montana’s elections. And under his tenure, Montana’s economy had the sixth-fastest weekly wage growth in the country, high school graduation rates improved and healthcare was expanded to 90,000 Montanans.
“I’ve always fought for the people of Montana,” he tweeted. “Together, we expanded health care, protected public lands, banned dark money in politics and more. Now I’m taking the fight to the U.S. Senate.”
Bullock ran in the Democratic presidential race, but dropped out in December after struggling to register required support for debates.
Bullock previously said he wasn’t interested in entering the U.S. Senate race, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and former President Barack Obama met with him personally during the past month. And he has now said he will enter the race on the final day for candidates to have their names on the 2020 ballot in Montana.
He said Monday the change of heart came after encouragement from people statewide and backing of his family.
“I do wish D.C. worked more like Montana and decided to do this in part from people I’ve heard from,” Bullock said. “Also we as a family recently had a discussion and decided ‘You can either wish it worked like Montana or try to do something about it.’ We decided it isn’t the time to be on the sidelines.”
Prior to serving as governor for eight years, Bullock served as attorney general for four years.
Daine’s campaign manager Shane Scanlon responded to Bullock’s announcement.
“We’re going to win this race because Steve Daines is always on Montana’s side fighting for more high-paying jobs, against big government and defending Montanans’ way of life,” Scanlon said. “From protecting our pocketbooks, veterans, public lands and Second Amendment Rights, Daines always puts Montana first and Montanans know they can always trust him to continue doing so when he’s re-elected in November.”
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority, with two Independents, Angus King, (I-Maine), and Bernie Sanders, (I-Vermont), who caucus with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, and Bullock has been seen as the Democratic Party’s best chance to win back Montana’s seat.
Reporting by Sommer Brokaw
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