Gianforte loans gov campaign another $4 million

Cooney, Gianforte tied in donor amounts
Posted at 6:06 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 20:06:03-04

HELENA — Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte has poured another $4 million of his own money into his campaign for Montana governor, increasing his personal stake in the race to $7.57 million.

Gianforte, a Bozeman businessman, reported Tuesday that he loaned the campaign $4 million in the past month and also garnered about $225,000 from donors, including individuals and political-action committees.

All told, Gianforte has now rounded up almost $11 million for his campaign: $7.57 million from his own pocket and the rest from donors.

But his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, has basically matched Gianforte when it comes to raising money from donors, at $3.4 million, through last week. Cooney hasn’t put any of his own money into the race.

Gianforte also has spent almost $9 million on the contest, outspending Cooney by a 3-to-1 margin so far.

Just two weeks remain until Election Day, although 207,000 Montanans had mailed in their ballots by Monday night – probably at least one-third of the amount of people expected to vote in the general election.

Gianforte and Cooney are battling for an open governor’s seat, in what’s considered the most competitive gubernatorial battle in the nation. Both candidates have been receiving thousands of donations from Montanans and from other donors across the country.

Most polls have shown Gianforte with a single-digit lead over Cooney.

Gianforte, who lost the 2016 race for governor to Gov. Steve Bullock, is trying to end 16 years of Democratic control of the governor’s chair in Montana.

The former software-company executive has been touting his business experience in the campaign, while Cooney has pointed to the economic and overall record of the Bullock-Cooney administration.

Bullock, who cannot run for governor because of term limits, is running for the U.S. Senate against Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.