Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced a new endorsement from a consortium of tribal leaders Monday.
Eight out of eight present members of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council voted to endorse Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock for president last week. The council is a group of tribal leaders from across Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Gerald Gray says it was an easy decision when representatives from Bullock’s campaign asked for the council’s endorsement. Gray chairs the board and is Chairman of Montana’s Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Cree Indians.
“It wasn’t a long debate, we knew it was the right thing to do,” he says.
Gray says that’s because, in his experience, Bullock has always respected tribal sovereignty, going back to when Bullock was state attorney general.
"He’s got that door open to us and he’s always willing to listen to us about any kind of issues that we may have, Gray says.
Gray says Bullock has been a vocal ally in the Little Shell’s fight for federal recognition. The Tribe, which is currently recognized by the state, has been pushing for federal recognition for the past four decades.
Gray says other wins, like Bullock’s role in passing Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, are proof that the governor would do right by Indian Country, and the nation at large, if president.
The council joins Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller in endorsing Bullock for president.
He is currently polling between zero and one-percent, according to data from polling news sites, FiveThirtyEight.
Olivia Reingold is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America corps member.