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2020 Elections

Gianforte Will Be Montana's First Republican Governor In 16 Years

Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters in an open-air tent outside Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, shortly after the AP called the governor's race in his favor, Nov. 03, 2020.
Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters in an open-air tent outside Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, shortly after the AP called the governor's race in his favor, Nov. 03, 2020.

Greg Gianforte will be Montana’s first Republican governor in 16 years. The Associated Press called the race Tuesday night.

"Folks, tonight you’ve sent a loud message to Helena. A message to the State Capitol from every corner of this great state; that after 16 long years of single party rule in the governor’s office it’s time for Helena to change the way they do business."

Gianforte, who serves as Montana’s lone member of the U.S. House, defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.

Throughout his campaign, Gianforte has said his number one priority as Montana’s next governor will be rebooting the state’s economy by reforming Montana’s tax code and reducing what he calls unnecessary regulations.

As for handling the rising number of people sick with COVID-19, Gianforte has said he will emphasize providing Montanans guidance over imposing government mandates.

Supporters look on as Greg Gianforte speaks in an open-air tent outside Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, shortly after the AP called the governor's race in his favor, Nov. 03, 2020.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio
Supporters look on as Greg Gianforte speaks in an open-air tent outside Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, shortly after the AP called the governor's race in his favor, Nov. 03, 2020.


"We face some real challenges," Gianforte said. "We need to defeat this invisible enemy that is COVID-19. We need to get our economy going again. We need to soberly address the state's budget. We need to overcome the scourge of addiction and meth.”

Keys to the governor’s officer were up for grabs as Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock was termed-out and ran for the U.S. Senate. Gianforte was endorsed by President Donald Trump and is known for assaulting a reporter in 2017.

One of the wealthiest members of Congress, Gianforte touted his business experience, which includes founding a start-up technology company in his hometown of Bozeman that was eventually sold for almost $2 billion.

Cooney conceded the gubernatorial race after midnight.