Tester endorses Cooney in MT governor primary

On Saturday, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) endorsed Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney in the Democratic primary for Governor of Montana. Term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) previously endorsed Cooney in October 2019. Whitney Williams also has noteworthy endorsements in this race, from EMILY’s List, former Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau (D), and Missoula Mayor John Engen.

In addition to Conney and Williams, former state Rep. Reilly Neill (D) and state Rep. Casey Schreiner (D) are also running in the June 2 Democratic primary. The filing deadline for this election is March 9, so the field could still change.

The winner of the Democratic primary will compete in the general election on November 3. U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, and state Sen. Albert Olszewski are all running in the Republican primary.

Montana is one of 11 states holding gubernatorial elections this year, and the only state where the governor is term-limited. All three major race rating outlets have rated the race a toss-up.

With a Democratic governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, Montana is currently one of 14 states under divided government. If Republicans win this seat and hold their majorities in the legislature, Montana will become a Republican trifecta. If Democrats hold this seat and win the state legislature, the state will instead become a Democratic trifecta. Across the country, there are currently 21 Republican trifectas and 15 Democratic trifectas.

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