2020 Primary Preview

The Worm: Special 2020 Primary Preview

May 22, 2020

This is a special 2020 primary election preview. Reporters from Yellowstone Public Radio and Montana Public Radio spoke to nearly every candidate for federal and statewide office in Montana's June 2 primary election. Join us as we break down the races, hear from candidates and add context.

The U.S. Capitol building
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


A November contest for the U.S. Senate between Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Steve Bullock is expected by political observers to draw tens of millions of dollars in outside spending and national attention.

But first the Senate incumbent and sitting governor each face long-shot challengers in the June 2 primary.

The U.S. capitol building
Public Domain


With no incumbent seeking reelection, Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is once again up for grabs. Republicans are trying to prevent a Democrat from flipping the seat blue for the first time in more than 20 years.

Two Democrats, six Republicans and a Green Party candidate are trying to succeed current Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte, who is running for governor.

The governor's mansion in Helena, Mont.
Montana Office of Tourism


Heading into this election cycle, Republicans control both chambers of Montana’s Legislature. If they keep those majorities and win the governor's office, it'll be the first time since 2004 the GOP could control both those branches of the Montana state government. Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping to keep their decade-and-a-half hold on the executive.

With incumbent Gov. Steve Bullock termed out, two Democrats, three Republicans, a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate are vying to become Montana’s next chief executive.

The seal for Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
Office of the Montana State Auditor


Montana’s June 2nd primary election will be conducted mostly by mail-in ballot due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As the election approaches we’re expanding on who’s behind the names on your ballot.

Six candidates are running to be Montana’s State Auditor, as incumbent Matt Rosendale campaigns for the U.S. House. YPR News’ Jess Sheldahl spoke with Nicky Ouellet about each of the candidates.

Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission


Primary races are crowded for the Republican-dominated Montana Public Service Commission, which sets customer rates and approves new power, water and legacy telecommunications projects by regulated utilities in the state.

The Montana Supreme Court seal
State of Montana Supreme Court / State of Montana Supreme Court


Three candidates are vying to fill one of the seven seats on Montana’s Supreme Court. The candidates are pointing to their legal experience ahead into the June 2 primary.

The race is non-partisan and the primary will result in the two candidates with the most votes moving onto the general election in November.

A ballot shows the Republican candidates for the Montana Secretary of State primary election June 2, 2020.
Rachel Cramer/Yellowstone Public Radio

 

The Montana Secretary of State oversees elections and election laws, maintains records on legislation and business filings, and serves on the state Board of Land Commissioners, among other duties. Seven candidates are vying for the position in the primary election.