HELENA- Montana’s lone Representative in the U.S. House kicked off his campaign for Governor Friday.
Gianforte was expected to make the announcement while addressing the Montana Republican Party Convention in Helena. Signs could be seen hanging with the Gianforte for Governor logo at the convention center.
It is the congressman’s second run for governor and follows his filing of campaign fundraising paperwork late last week.
Gianforte, 58, is a Bozeman businessman and co-founder of RightNow Technologies, a software development firm that began in Bozeman in the mid-1990s and grew to an international company. It was sold to Oracle Corp. in 2012 for $1.8 billion.
Gianforte’s first run for office was in 2016 when he challenged incumbent Governor Steve Bullock and lost, 50 percent to 46 percent.
Seven months after that election, he won a special election in May 2017 for Montana’s congressional seat, which was vacated when then-U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke was appointed U.S. Interior secretary.
Gianforte won re-election to the U.S. House seat last year, defeating Democrat Kathleen Williams by five percentage points. Libertarian Elinor Swanson also was in the race.
Three other prominent Republicans have announced that they’re running for governor in 2020: Attorney General Tim Fox, state Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
Governor Bullock cannot run again in 2020 because of term limits.
Two Democrats have announced they are running for Governor in 2020, Montana House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner and Reilly Neill a former state legislator from Livingston.