BILLINGS – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised more than $3 million in the first three weeks of his campaign against Republican incumbent Steve Daines in what has emerged as a critical race in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.
The $3.3 million raised by Bullock, a Democrat, between March 9, when he announced his candidacy, and the March 31 close of the campaign finance reporting period is more than half the $5.5 million he raised during his entire seven-month campaign for president.
Daines raised $1.3 million between January and the end of March. He has raised a total of $7.9 million throughout his re-election campaign, The Billings Gazette reported.
Democrats need to pick up four seats in November to win outright control of the Senate. Bullock is seen by many as Democrats’ best chance to flip the seat held by Daines, a first-term senator.
John Mues of Loma, the only other remaining Democratic candidate, raised $176,000 in the first quarter of 2020.
Former Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Williams and state Auditor Matt Rosendale remained the leading fundraisers in the race for the state’s open U.S. House seat.
Williams, of Bozeman, raised more than $486,000 in the first three months of 2020 and has received $1.6 million in total donations ahead of the June 2 primary. Rosendale collected $249,000 from January through March and has raised a total of $1.2 million, according to campaign finance reports.
Among other candidates seeking the seat held by Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, Democratic Rep. Tom Winter of Missoula reported raising $73,000 during the first three months of 2020. On the Republican side, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, Joe Dooling and Debra Lamm reported raising less than $15,000 each.
Gianforte is running for governor and is not seeking re-election.
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