I met Mike Cooney during my first campaign for the state Legislature. He was a student at the University of Montana when I knocked on his dorm room door. It marked the start of our decades-long relationship rooted in our shared commitment to public service and fighting for Montanans. Mike was one of the most valued members of our House and Senate team for years.
Being elected by Montanans to serve in public office is an honor. Montanans have chosen Mike to serve – as a legislator, as secretary of the state, as president of the Senate, and as lieutenant governor – because they know they can trust him to work honorably on their behalf.
Mike is truly as hard-working as they come. Raised in Butte, he’s got that fighting spirit which shines both on the campaign trail and in office. I saw this firsthand when I was running for Congress.
When I walked across the state – 630 miles from Gardiner to Yaak – Mike would drive ahead and make sure we were visiting with Montanans in every single community along the way.
Showing up in every Montana community is critical. I knew that. Mike knows that. It’s critical for effective leadership. That’s what Mike is doing today. Showing up in every single county across our state. As a result Mike has become one of Montana’s most trusted and effective leaders.
Mike ran his first campaign based on the notion that we should elect “individuals who will represent the people, not special interest groups.” I’ve watched proudly as this loyalty to the people of Montana has informed his long career.
Mike knows what it takes not only to win, but to govern once he gets there. When Mike campaigns he puts in the long hours, the shoe leather, and the windshield time. And when Mike governs he brings people together, gets things done, and never compromises on his values.
He’s been delivering for Montanans for decades: fighting for Medicaid expansion as lieutenant governor expanding voting rights as secretary of state, securing access to public lands as a member of the Land Board, and advocating for equality for all Montanans as president of the Senate.
When Montanans choose Mike to be our next governor, they can expect him to bring the same passion and work ethic he’s embodied his entire career to tackle the issues head on: fighting to make sure Montanans have good-paying jobs, bringing down prescription drug costs and increasing access to care, addressing climate change and standing up to attacks on our public lands, and ensuring our kids have access to the best public education we can offer.
Mike has never forgotten where he comes from or who he works for: the people. It’s his unwavering commitment to Montanans, his willingness to take on tough fights, and his unflappable determination to do what’s right that earns my vote – and my endorsement – for governor.
former Democratic U.S. senator
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