WATCH: The Montana Governor's Race Debate

Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 19:59:47-04

MTN News hosted a debate on Saturday between the two candidates vying to be the next governor of Montana: Republican U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney.

The debate was moderated by a panel featuring MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison, Jay Kohn (KTVQ Billings Anchor Emeritus), and Jill Valley (KPAX Missoula/Kalispell Anchor and Reporter).

You can watch the debate in the video player above, or on-demand with the KPAX streaming app.

Gianforte, 59, one of the wealthiest men in Montana, is currently serving his first term in Congress after beating Democrat Kathleen Williams in the 2018 U.S. House race. He has pitched himself as the “business guy” who will scrutinize government and make it more business-friendly. Gianforte co-founded 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.

Cooney – a veteran of many elected offices – says he’s the steady hand who knows how to run the government and maintain vital services like public education, while guiding Montana to a bounce-back after a pandemic. Cooney was appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock as lieutenant governor in early 2016, has been Montana’s secretary of state, and a state senator from Helena. Originally from Butte, Cooney also has worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus and an administrator in state government.

The Governor candidate debate is the second in a series of three MTN debates.

On September 26, Kathleen Williams and Matt Rosendale met to debate who should hold Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Coming up on October 10, Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Steve Daines will meet for a debate in the race for U.S. Senate.

For voting information and other important election information, you can check out the MTN Election Guide.