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Gianforte up to $1.5M in personal funds for gov campaign

Almost five times his nearest competitor's funds
Gianforte up to $1.5M in personal funds for gov campaign
Posted at 9:11 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 11:40:35-04

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte continues to pour personal funds into his 2020 campaign for governor, reporting Wednesday that he loaned another $500,000 to the campaign, bringing his personal stake to just over $1.5 million.

Gianforte also has raised nearly $2 million from donors for his campaign, pushing his fundraising total to $3.6 million, or nearly five times his nearest competitor in Montana’s three-way GOP primary for governor.

Gianforte is competing against Attorney General Tim Fox and state Sen. Al Olszewski for the Republican nomination for governor.

In the Democratic primary for governor, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and Missoula businesswoman Whitney Williams are almost neck-in-neck, when it comes to fundraising.

Williams reported Wednesday that she edged past $1 million in total fundraising this week, while Cooney’s campaign said he has raised almost $900,000.

Mail voting is under way in both primaries, with ballots due at county election offices on primary election day, June 2.

Polls will not be open on June 2 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and all voting is being done by mail or in-person ballots at county election offices. Voter registration also continues through election day.

The race for Montana’s open governor’s seat is one of the top contests on the ticket.

Gianforte has been the consistent fundraising leader for the entire contest, garnering donations from across the state and around the country. He said he raised $651,000 in the past week – including the $500,000 loan from himself.

Fox, who entered the race more than a year ago, raised only $39,000 in the past month, increasing his total to $755,000 for the campaign.

Olszewski reported Wednesday that he raised $72,000 in the past month, although that includes a $50,000 loan from himself. All told, Olszewski has self-financed about half of his $350,000 campaign so far.

Williams, who got into the race last October, had raised just over $1 million through Monday – including $160,000 during the past month. However, almost one-fourth of her total can be spent only in the general election.

Cooney said he raised $126,000 during the past month, increasing his total to $886,000 for the campaign. He’s been in the race since last July.