Monday 26 August 2019

Governor of Montana joins big Democratic field in race to challenge Donald Trump

Steve Bullock says his success in a Republican-voting state would make him the right man to duel with the president for the keys to the Oval Office.

The White House in Washington (Niall Carson/PA)
The White House in Washington (Niall Carson/PA)

By Bill Barrow and Matt Volz, Associated Press

Steve Bullock, the governor of Montana, has announced he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The 53-year-old on Tuesday became the third governor in a race with almost two dozen candidates, but Mr Bullock is the only statewide elected official to win a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

That forms a key part of Mr Bullock’s argument.

He has told voters that he has succeeded as a Democrat in a state that leans solidly Republican, making him an ideal person to take on Mr Trump.

Mr Bullock pushed expanded Medicaid insurance in Montana through a Republican-led legislature and expanded LGBTQ rights by executive order.

He has also vetoed gun bills and abortion restrictions pushed by Republican politicians.

His immediate challenge is raising money and getting enough support in polls to qualify for Democrats’ first debates in June.

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