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Gov. Bullock announces run for president

Posted: 9:43 AM, May 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-14 11:47:35-04

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock is off and running for president of the United States.

Governor Bullock officially launched his presidential bid at 4 a.m. Mountain Time — releasing a two-minute-44-second video, that outlines his campaign themes — and a declaration of his candidacy.

“I’m Steve Bullock and I’m running for president. With your help, we will take our democracy back,” Bullock said in the video.

The video focuses on Bullock’s fight against corporate and “dark money” in campaigns — mentioning the notorious political power of Montana’s copper kings — and says he’ll fight against what he calls a “corrupt” system.

“That’s why we need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone,” Bullock said.

It also notes his re-election victory in a state won by Trump, in 2016 — and his progressive policy victories on Medicaid expansion and education spending.

Bullock’s also planning an event later on Tuesday at Helena High School — where national media will be on hand to film his encounter with students in the classroom.

But once the launch publicity subsides — Bullock has a steep hill to climb, to become relevant in the presidential contest.

He’s the 22nd Democrat to get in the race — and observers say he’ll be competing against far more experienced political hands — and fund-raisers.

Yet he’s not with some experienced hands of his own.

The Hill, a D.C. publication, reported Monday that one of his advisers is Nick Baldick, who worked for the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Edwards. — and that he’s being advised by Jennifer Palmieri, a director of communications for the Obama White House.

He also has staffers on the ground in Iowa , site of the nation’s first presidential nominating caucus next February.

Bullock is being mentioned in some Democratic presidential primary polls. In an online poll completed last week by a national firm — Bullock, along with several other candidates, registered — at 1%.

Montana Republican Party Chairman Debra Lamm released the following statement following Bullock’s announcement:

“Governor Bullock joins a long list of 20-plus Democrats hoping to take on and defeat President Trump, and he’s doing it at the Montana taxpayers’ expense. Montanans are footing his campaign bill so he can jet-set off and raise millions of dollars from lobbyists, special interests, and liberal activists. Just because Gov. Bullock’s ego thinks he can become President of the United States doesn’t mean that hard-working Montanans should be left picking up a nearly $300,000 tab to pay for his pipe dream.”