Competition in Montana Governor race adds hundreds of thousands - News, Sports and Weather

Competition in Montana Governor race adds hundreds of thousands to Bullock, Gianforte campaigns

Posted: Updated: Mar 15, 2016 12:22 AM

Monday was the deadline to file for the Montana governor's race. Bill McChesney registered on the Democratic ticket Friday, while Terry Nelson registered to run on the Republican ticket Monday.

With the addition of these candidates, ABC-FOX Montana political analyst Lee Banville says it's interesting timing, especially when hundreds of thousands of dollars ride on whether there's competition in the races.

"It's true that neither of these candidates who filed have any campaign website or have any Twitter or social media campaigns,” said Banville. “They've filed, and they're fairly unknown entities, they're not popular in the state, they don't have a huge following. So the question is are these real candidates or are these paper tigers that these campaigns can use to dip into their primary funds and run a bigger campaign?"

Nelson says his filing isn't to help Gianforte gain access to more funds, but because he says there are holes in Gianforte's platform.

"It really tends to focus on the eastern part of the state and the issues they have,” said Nelson. “I think western Montana, which has a large majority of the population of Montana, has some issues that I'd like to see raised at least in the governor race."

McChesney declined our request for an interview.

Through a written statement sent to us tonight, he claims that his filing is to make a statement on campaign finance reform.

Both Nelson and McChesney face uphill battles entering the race only three months to go before primaries, but Nelson tells me he's ready to climb it and see how everything shakes out.

"I felt that this was a good way of getting Ravalli County's and western Montana's message of the things that we face,” said Nelson.

Regardless of the new candidates’ motivations, Montanans will now have options for the June primaries. 

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