Montana's 2020 election
The Montana Free Press guide

Montana’s 2020 candidates

This list currently excludes Montana candidates for two open Supreme Court seats, three Public Service Commission districts, and Montana House and Senate races, as well as local races, including city commission and school board elections.

- Governor -

Republicans for Governor

Fox, wrapping up his second four-year term as Montana’s attorney general, announced his campaign for governor in January. Originally from Hardin, he has a University of Montana law degree and formerly worked as an attorney in private practice.
Gianforte was the Republican nominee for governor in 2016, but failed to derail Gov. Steve Bullock’s re-election bid. Entering politics after founding and selling RightNow Technologies in Bozeman, he was elected to the U.S. House in the 2017 special election and re-elected to a two-year term in 2019. He was also convicted of misdemeanor assault for attacking a reporter during his 2017 run. Gianforte filed to run for Montana governor a second time June 7.
Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon and state senator from Kalispell, announced his gubernatorial campaign in April. He previously ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018, placing fourth in the Republican primary.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Bishop, who owns Hoplite Armor in Kalispell, filed with the Montana Secretary of State Feb. 20.

Democrats for Governor

Cooney, a former Montana legislator and secretary of state from Butte, has been Bullock’s lieutenant governor since 2016. He announced his campaign July 3.
Withdrew 1/12/20
Neill, who represented Park County from 2013 to 2015, filed to run for governor June 8, 2019. A Livingston resident, she is the publisher of the publication Montana Press Monthly. She announced her departure for the race Jan. 12, 2020.
Withdrew 2/3/2020
Schreiner is a four-term representative who served in minority House leadership during the 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions. He is termed-out of the House in 2020. Schreiner is a former science teacher who now serves as director of the Montana State Workforce Innovation Board. He announced he was ending his campaign Feb. 3, saying he wasn’t raising enough money to be competitive in the gubernatorial contest.
Williams, of Missoula, announced her candidacy Oct. 3. She is the daughter of longtime Montana Congressman Pat Williams and Carol Williams, who was the first woman to serve as Montana Senate majority leader. She is also the founder and CEO of williamsworks, a Missoula-based philanthropic consulting firm.

Libertarian for Governor

Vandevender, of Cascade, previously ran for governor in 2012, and has also campaigned for a seat in the Montana Legislature.

- U.S. Senate -

Republicans for U.S. Senate

Daines, who worked for Greg Gianforte as an executive at the Bozeman company RightNow Technologies, was Montana’s U.S. representative during the 2012 term, and was elected to the Senate in 2014. He has said he plans to seek re-election to a second term in 2020.
Larson, of Stevensville, announced his primary challenge to Daines in February. A hardware store owner and political newcomer, told MTN News he thinks the race needs a conservative who believes in true Christian values, limited government and responsible spending.

Democrats for U.S. Senate

Collins, elected mayor of Helena in 2017, announced his bid for the U.S. Senate May 13. A Liberian refugee, he fled his home country’s civil war in the 1990s. Collins is thought to be Montana’s first black mayor since statehood.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Knoles, of Bozeman, filed candidacy paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Sept. 26.
Mues, of Loma, said July 11 that he is running for the U.S. Senate. He is a Navy veteran and engineer.
Neumann, of Bozeman, announced her candidacy Oct. 1. Raised in Bozeman, she spent much of her career working in global public health. She also founded the Global First Ladies Alliance.
Seckinger, of Bozeman, announced his candidacy Feb. 18. A fly-fishing guide, he has lived in Bozeman since 2009 and describes himself as a “working-class Montanan” who has “never had a full-time job with benefits,” according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

- U.S. House -

Republicans for U.S. House

Dooling, a rancher from the Helena valley and chairman of the Lewis and Clark County GOP Central Committee, filed paperwork to run for Montana’s U.S. House seat June 24. He is the husband of state Rep. Julie Dooling.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Johnson, of Corvallis, is the superintendent of Corvallis Public Schools. He filed July 3 to run for the U.S. House.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Lamm, of Livingston, announced her intention Sept. 9 to seek the GOP nomination. She served in the Montana House during the 2015 Legislature.
Stapleton, a former state senator, was elected secretary of state in 2016, and made unsuccessful primary bids for governor in 2012 and the U.S. House in 2014. He has an engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and previously worked as a financial adviser in Billings. He said in January that he would run for Montana governor, but switched to the U.S. House race after Gianforte announced his own gubernatorial bid.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Rosendale, of Glendive, announced on June 17 that he would run for the U.S. House. Elected state auditor in 2016, he made an unsuccessful run against U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.
Evankovich, of Butte, filed for U.S. House with the Montana Secretary of State Jan. 9 and the Federal Election Commission Feb. 15. As of Feb. 17, he didn’t appear to have a website or campaign social media presence.

Democrats for U.S. House

Withdrew 1/21/20
Rains, of Simms, is an Army veteran who owns a ranch. He filed to run for the U.S. House July 1, 2019, then announced he was withdrawing to run for the Montana House Jan. 21, 2020.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Williams, a former state legislator from Bozeman, announced her second run for the U.S. House in April. Williams lost her prior attempt, running to unseat Gianforte in 2018, by 24,000 votes.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Winter, a freshman state representative from Missoula, announced his candidacy in April. He owns home health care provider Interim HealthCare of Western Montana.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

- Attorney General -

Republicans for Attorney General

Bennion, currently a senior staffer in the attorney general’s office, announced his candidacy in February. Originally from Billings, he has worked in the AG’s office since 2013.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Knudsen, an attorney from Culbertson, served eight years in the Montana House of Representatives, including four as one of the state’s youngest-ever speakers of the House. He announced his candidacy May 20. Knudsen, who was termed out of the House after four terms, was elected Roosevelt County Attorney in 2018.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

Democrats for Attorney General

Dudik, who currently represents Missoula in the state Legislature, announced her candidacy in December.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Graybill, currently the governor’s chief legal counsel, announced his candidacy in May.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

- Secretary of State -

Republicans for Secretary of State

Bowen, who was elected clerk of the Montana Supreme Court in 2018, said he would run for secretary of state Nov. 5. He previously served as a secretary of state’s office spokesman and is a past executive director of the Montana Republican Party.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Jacobsen, of Helena, filed candidacy paperwork with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Oct. 4. She serves as the chief of staff for current Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
Mandeville, of Columbus, announced his candidacy in July. He has served in the state Legislature since 2015.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast
Sales, a state senator from Bozeman who has served in the Montana Legislature since 2003, announced his run for secretary of state in March. He served as senate president in the 2017 and 2019 legislative sessions.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

Democrat for Secretary of State

Bennett, a state senator from Missoula, announced his candidacy for secretary of state May 29. He is the executive director of the Montana Public Interest Research Group, a University of Montana-affiliated policy nonprofit, and has served in the Legislature since 2011.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

- Superintendent of Public Instruction -

Republican for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Arntzen, formerly a state legislator from Billings, was elected superintendent of public instruction in 2016. She announced June 11 that she will seek re-election.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

Democrat for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Romano, a Helena teacher, was the 2016 Democratic nominee for superintendent of public instruction, losing to Arntzen. She said in April she plans to take another shot at the job.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast

- State Auditor -

Republicans for State Auditor

Downing, a military veteran who ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 2018, said June 26 he’ll run for state auditor in 2020.
Nicol, of Billings, announced her candidacy in October. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has worked at Miles City-based Victory Insurance Company for more than a decade.
Tuxbury, of Missoula, announced his candidacy Feb. 17 with an announcement touting his long experience in the insurance industry.

Democrat for State Auditor

Morigeau, a state representative from Missoula, announced his candidacy for state auditor June 30. He is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and has a law degree from the University of Montana.
On the Montana Lowdown Podcast