Montana Governor Travels to Iowa as He Explores Possible Run

Bullock headlined a fundraiser for Attorney General Tom Miller's re-election campaign

By Associated Press
Gov. Steve Bullock shakes hands with Loren Rose, COO of Pyramid Mountain Lumber, after introducing the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative on Aug. 16, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

HELENA – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock wrapped up a two-day tour of Iowa on Friday to campaign for that state’s Democratic attorney general and test the waters for a possible 2020 presidential run.

Bullock headlined a fundraiser for Attorney General Tom Miller’s re-election campaign on Thursday and on Friday was to speak to Polk County Democrats in the state’s largest county.

In between, Bullock’s schedule was packed with meetings with local elected officials and party leaders across central Iowa: breakfast in Colfax, lunch in Ames, an appearance at a craft brewery in Marshalltown.

Matt McKenna, a political consultant who is working with Bullock’s Big Sky Values PAC, said the main purpose of Bullock’s trip is to support Miller. McKenna declined to say whether the governor also was trying to lay the groundwork for a presidential bid.

Bullock has downplayed his presidential ambitions, even as he created the political-action committee that pays for him to travel the nation and make political appearances.

Bullock’s Iowa tour comes as several potential candidates make appearances in the first state on the presidential primary election calendar. The Polk County Democrats, the group hosting Bullock on Friday, is also hosting Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti next week.

McKenna said Bullock’s message to Iowans has been about the importance of rural America and making sure the Democratic Party doesn’t leave behind parts of the nation it neglected in the 2016 election.

McKenna said Bullock does not have any additional appearances scheduled in states with early primary elections.

Big Sky Values PAC has raised more than $500,000 and had about $176,000 cash on hand at the end of February, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

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