Montana’s 2020 gubernatorial election is already turning heads. Steve Bullock, current governor of Montana, is terming out this year, which leaves the governorship open to new candidates. The Office of the Governor in Montana cycles in four-year terms, each candidate terming out after two terms serving in office. This year, the gubernatorial election will be held on November 3, coinciding with the 2020 presidential election as well as with several local and state elections.
The Democratic primary currently holds two declared gubernatorial candidates: Mike Cooney, Lieutenant Governor of Montana and former Secretary of State of Montana, and Whitney Williams, businesswoman and daughter of former U.S. Representative Pat Williams. Potential future candidates include Ryan Busse, businessman, and John Heenan, attorney and candidate for Montana's at-large congressional district in 2018.
Mike Cooney has been endorsed by Steve Bullock, John Tester and Max Baucus. On the other side of the Democratic Primary, Whitney Williams has been endorsed by Denise Juneau, Brian Schweitzer and John Engen.
The Republican primary also holds two declared gubernatorial candidates: Tim Fox, Attorney General of Montana, and Greg Gianforte, incumbent U.S. Representative for Montana's at-large congressional district and nominee for Governor of Montana in 2016. Greg Gianforte was endorsed by Donald Trump Jr., businessman and son of President Donald Trump.
Ron Vandevender, nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2016 and nominee for Governor of Montana in 2012, and Lyman Bishop, founder and CEO of Hoplite Armor, were declared as candidates for the Libertarian primary.
There are many candidates, all with significantly different beliefs and ideals. Getting younger generations engaged in political processes isn’t just beneficial in the short-term, it also lays the foundation for strong political engagement in the future.