HELENA – Attorney General Tim Fox on Thursday became the second prominent Republican to enter Montana 2020 race for governor, vying for his party’s nomination to succeed term-limited Democrat Steve Bullock.
“We need to work on the things that have made Montana great in the past, and those things that can make Montana great in the future,” he told MTN News in an interview Thursday morning. “I’m an effective leader that brings results, and that’s the way I would conduct myself as governor.”
Fox, 61, was re-elected to his second and final term as attorney general in 2016. He’s barred by term limits from running for a third term.
Fox’s announcement didn’t come as a surprise. He’s made it clear for more than a year that he was considering a run for the governor in 2020.
He joins Secretary of State Corey Stapleton as the second Republican statewide official to announce a run for governor to succeed Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who’s in his second and final term.
U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte also is considering the race, sources have told MTN News, and two other lesser-known Republicans have filed papers as candidates raising money for a possible gubernatorial run.
Fox noted that Republicans haven’t had the governorship in Montana since 2004, and said he’s a Republican with a proven track record as a successful candidate and leader who can work with both parties to get things done.
“Being an effective leader is more than just standing in front of a microphone and yelling,” he said. “It’s about bringing people together. It’s about finding solutions to real world problems. These are things that I think I’ve been able to epitomize in the last six years.”
Fox is kicking off his campaign Wednesday with appearances on statewide radio shows and interviews with news outlets across the state.
Fox, formerly an attorney in private practice, first ran for attorney general in 2008, losing to Democrat Steve Bullock. He won the seat four years later when Bullock ran for governor, defeating Democrat Pam Bucy by 54 percent to 46 percent. He easily won re-election in 2016 over Democrat Larry Jent.
Fox, originally from Hardin, has a 1987 law degree from the University of Montana and a bachelor’s degree in geology from UM. He also completed a master’s degree in public administration last year, when he was being successfully treated for colon cancer.
-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News