Al Olszewski

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.

Montana’s June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of them participated in last Thursday's online forum discussing what health care providers say is the state’s rapidly deteriorating behavioral health system.

Montanans Rally At Capitol To Air Grievances, Advocate Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions

Apr 20, 2020

More than three hundred Montana citizens and multiple Republican candidates for statewide office gathered at the state Capitol in Helena on Sunday, flaunting federal, state, and public health agency social distancing recommendations to express a range of opinions centered on the belief that it’s time for state directives closing schools and businesses to end.

Al Olszewski / Al Olszewski

 

This week we are airing conversations with some of the candidates running for Montana governor as the June 2 primary approaches.

Republican Dr. Al Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon from the Flathead Valley has served three terms in the state legislature. YPR News' Jess Sheldal spoke with Olszewski February 22— before the coronavirus pandemic hit Montana — about health care, the Second Amendment and his campaign.

Kristen Juras stands at a podium in front of the Montana flag
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio News

Another Montana Republican running for governor has named his running mate. At a rally in Billings Sunday, Gianforte said he’s choosing Great Falls-based attorney Kristen Juras, who he said has helped farmers, ranchers and small businesses navigate red tape in Montana.

One man speaks into a microphone on stage while three people are seated behind him.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana’s Democratic primary candidates for U.S. Senate faced off for the first time in Bozeman Feb. 21. Health care, energy and liveable incomes were discussed during the debate. 

Mike Cooney and Whitney Williams fielding questions at Montana State University.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

The two Democratic primary candidates for the 2020 governor’s race each argue they’re the best candidate to defend the party’s decade-and-a -half hold of the office from Republicans. Current Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and businesswoman Whitney Willams faced off in their first forum Wednesday night.

Yellowstone Public Radio News reports candidates fielded questions on topics including public safety, women’s health care and access to public land.

The Bullock administration Monday announced its plan to double the number of Montanans receiving community-based mental health care treatment over the next five years .

Some mental health care providers in the state are still stinging from nearly 3 year old state budget cuts.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is heating up the Republican party primary race for governor, picking a running mate from his rival’s home town. Fox has tapped former Montana House Rep. Jon Knokey from Bozeman as his lieutenant governor.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

The three candidates in the Republican primary race for governor in Montana squared off at their first full debate Thursday night.

Each candidate tried to distinguish himself as the best Montanan to advocate for other Montanans.

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