HELENA –Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte surpassed $1 million in fundraising for his campaign last month – and also put an additional $200,000 of his own money into the race.
The $200,000 is the first direct cash donation the multimillionaire software entrepreneur from Bozeman has made to his campaign, as he attempts to unseat Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
Bullock, running for a second term, also filed his latest campaign-finance report Monday, showing he has raised almost $1.7 million and had more than three times the money as Gianforte at the end of last month.
“While Greg Gianforte is using his personal fortune to try to buy this race, Steve is relying on the support of folks across Montana because they trust Steve to keep Montana great for future generations,” said campaign manager Eric Hyers in a statement.
Montana’s gubernatorial race is one of the more closely watched state election contests in the country, as observers are expecting a tight, expensive battle.
In announcing his latest fundraising numbers, Gianforte said he’s getting widespread support in part because he’s not a “government insider” who is “bought and paid for by the special interests.”
“We’re seeing strong support from all across the state, because Montanans know that (running mate) Lesley Robinson and I will make sure state government is accountable to Montana voters, and not to special interests,” he said in a statement.
Highlights from the latest gubernatorial campaign money reports include:
- Gianforte has raised $1 million solely from individuals, both in Montana and across the country. He is refusing money from political-action committees. Bullock has raised slightly more than $1.6 million from individuals and the remainder from PACs.
- It took Gianforte just over eight months to surpass the $1 million mark in donations, well ahead of the pace of candidates for Montana’s open governor’s seat in 2012.
- Gianforte has raised a total of $1.2 million, including the $200,000 from himself. He also has spent about $72,000 of his own money on campaign expenses, listed as “in-kind” contributions.
- Gianforte has spent $841,000 on the campaign so far, including $248,000 last month on a TV ad buy, and had nearly $362,000 remaining at the end of April.
- Bullock has spent only about $485,000 on his campaign so far and had $1.22 million remaining last week. He hasn’t paid for any major advertising yet.
- For the month of April, Gianforte reported total income of $346,000, including the $200,000 donation from himself. Bullock took in $133,000, all from individual donors and political-action committees.
Reporter: Mike Dennison