Gubernatorial Candidate Cooney Raises $720k in Two Months

Contributions exceed those from 2016 gubernatorial race despite lower donation limits

By Micah Drew

HELENA — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney raised over $720,000 in the last two months, bringing his fundraising total to $1.8 million, campaign officials said Monday.

The reporting period, which began June 15 and ended Aug. 15, was the first after Montana’s June 2 primary election.

More than half of Cooney’s funds came from small donor contributions, the campaign said. Around $500,000, or 70% of the funds, came from Montana residents. Around $12,000 came from political action committees.

The Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, has yet to release his fundraising totals for the reporting period, which ended Saturday. The reports are due later this week.

Gianforte, a former technology entrepreneur, had already given $1.5 million to his campaign as of June, and contributed more than $6 million to his previous gubernatorial campaign in 2016, when he lost to Democrat Steve Bullock.

Bullock raised around $400,000 in a similar two-month period in 2016, despite significantly higher campaign contribution limits, Cooney’s campiagn said. The contribution limit for the general election in 2016 was $1,990, compared to the $710 in 2020.

The governor’s seat is open this year because Bullock is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election. Bullock is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.

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