The statewide filing deadline to run for elected office in Montana passed on March 9, 2020. Seven candidates filed to run for governor of the state. Steve Bullock (D), Montana’s current governor, was prohibited from running for re-election due to state term limits that restrict a governor to two four-year terms within a 16-year period. Bullock was first elected to the office in 2012 and won re-election in 2016.
Candidates from the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian parties filed for the 2020 governor’s race.
• Mike Cooney
• Whitney Williams
• Tim Fox
• Greg Gainforte
• Albert Olszewski
• Robert Barb
• Lyman Bishop
Each candidate must participate in his or her party’s respective primary scheduled for June 2, 2020. The primary winners will advance to the general election on November 3, 2020.
Candidates for Montana governor run on a joint ticket with their chosen lieutenant governor running mate. This means that voters select the governor and lieutenant governor together as one unit, rather than voting separately for the two offices.
Montana is one of 11 states holding gubernatorial elections in 2020. Of those 11 seats up for election, Democrats hold four and Republicans hold seven.
Montana has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. As of March 13, 2020, there are 21 Republican trifectas, 15 Democratic trifectas, and 14 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.