On January 24, state attorney general Tim Fox (R) announced he was running for governor of Montana in 2020. Fox was first elected attorney general in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. He is the second Republican to declare his candidacy after Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton (R) announced that he was running for governor on January 4.
Montana’s current governor, Steve Bullock (D), has held that office since 2013 and is term-limited.
President Donald Trump (R) carried Montana by over 20 percentage points in the 2016 election. The state has voted for the Republican nominee for president in 12 of the last 13 presidential elections, as Bill Clinton (D) in 1992 was the only Democrat to win Montana’s electoral votes since 1964. In that span, Democrats have won gubernatorial elections in the state nine times, and Republicans four times.
Democrats have held the governor’s mansion in Montana since 2005, as Bullock’s predecessor, Brian Schweitzer (D), was elected to consecutive terms in 2004 and 2008. Prior to that, the state elected Republican governors from 1988 to 2000.
In addition to governor, Montana has four other elected state executive officials – attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, and the superintendent of public instruction. Republicans hold all four of those positions and the state will hold elections for all in 2020.
Montana currently has a divided government, since the governor is a Democrat and Republicans control both houses of the state legislature. The GOP holds a 30-20 majority in the State Senate and a 58-42 majority in the state House.