MTAL Update—Williams Out-Raises Gianforte Post-Primary; WaPo Upgrades Race to “Competitive”


Last week brought more big news for former Bozeman legislator Kathleen Williams and her campaign to win Montana’s lone House seat, including that she out-raised multimillionaire incumbent Greg Gianforte in the weeks following the June 5th primary. Williams posted a strong fundraising quarter with $581,000, but as Montana political expert David Parker noted, “Williams did out-raise Greg Gianforte by about $100,000 after the primary.”

Additionally, in the wake of Cook Political Report reclassifying the race as Lean Republican, the Washington Post has upgraded the race to “competitive” indicating that Kathleen “is now considered in close contest” with Gianforte. A post-primary poll showed Kathleen leading Gianforte by six points.

See below for more excerpts of David Parker’s interview with Montana Public Radio.

MTPR: Williams Campaign Reports Strong Fundraising Numbers
Eric Whitney
July 20, 2018

  • “Kathleen Williams out-raised Greg Gianforte by about $100,000.”
  • “These are contributions. These are not loans from Kathleen Williams. This is not money from Kathleen Williams. Whereas in the past, Greg Gianforte, it looks like, if I read the report correctly, Greg Gianforte gave himself either a quarter of a million or half a million dollar loan around the 17th of May.”
  • “But in terms of just sheer contributions, Kathleen Williams did out-raise Greg Gianforte by about $100,000 after the primary. Broadly speaking, it is unusual for a challenger at any point in a race to out-raise an incumbent.”
  • “So, [Gianforte is] certainly vulnerable, just because he’s not a true incumbent in the sense that he won a special election, and he didn’t win it by a great amount, there’s that. Two, he’s vulnerable because of the incident that occurred on the eve of the primary with him assaulting a reporter. Three, Cook’s Political Report has moved the race from “likely Republican” to “leaning Republican,” which is suggestive. Fourth, the fundraising money indicates that, I think, Democrats think they have a real opportunity to take this seat.”
  • “I think Democrats sense, perhaps for the first time in twenty years that they have a real chance to perhaps pull off the unthinkable.”

Listen to the full interview here.


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