NewsMontana News


2 more candidates jump into MT’s crowded 2020 US House race

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 10:51:05-04

HELENA — The crowded 2020 race for Montana’s open U.S. House seat got a bit more crowded Wednesday, as two largely unknown candidates entered the contest — a Democrat and a Republican.

Matt Rains, a rancher and Army veteran from Simms, is the Democrat; Tim Johnson, the superintendent of schools in Corvallis, is the Republican.

They joined a field that now has seven declared candidates, including some well-known names in Montana politics.

Matt Rains
Democratic U.S. House candidate Matt Rains

Montana’s only U.S. House seat is open next year because incumbent Republican Greg Gianforte is running for governor, after only one-and-a-half terms in Congress.

Republicans Joe Dooling, a Helena rancher, state Auditor Matt Rosendale and Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton already are vying for their party’s nomination.

On the Democratic side, Kathleen Williams — who lost to Gianforte by five percentage points last year — and state Rep. Tom Winter of Missoula are competing for the seat as well.

Tim Johnson
Republican U.S. House candidate Tim Johnson

Rains launched his campaign with a two-minute video posted on YouTube, highlighting his ranching and military background.

In a news release, he said he’d be part of a “new generation of leadership” that would address problems like unaffordable health care, a shortage of good-paying jobs and agriculture harmed by new trade policies.

Johnson said on his website that he’d be emphasizing education in his campaign, as well as a return to civility in political discourse.

The primary election to choose the major-party nominees for the seat isn’t until next June.

-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News