MT Dems Gov Race: Him Versus Her
That's right, House Democrat Minority Leader Casey Schreiner (D-Great Falls) is ending his gubernatorial bid. Here's the news from the Associated Press:
House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner of Great Falls has ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of Montana. Schreiner says he knew it would be an uphill battle and he does not have the resources to run a competitive campaign. He says it's time to get behind the candidate who has the best chance of winning. Lt. Gov Mike Cooney and businesswoman Whitney Williams are the two remaining Democrats running in the June 2 primary. Schreiner says he has no immediate plans to run for any other office and is not announcing any endorsements on the Democratic primary.
Montana Democrats have a surprisingly competitive primary for governor in Montana. Casey Schreiner is the Democrat House Minority Leader with labor connections out of Great Falls. Mike Cooney is the current lieutenant governor (Governor Bullock's third LG in under 8 years). And Whitney Williams is the very well connected daughter of former Democrat Congressman Pat Williams (D-MT) and former state senate Democrat leader Carol Williams (she's also connected to Hillary Clinton). Williams also posted some very strong fundraising numbers recently, although she got a lot of money from out of state. But from an outside perspective it certainly seems as if she has the momentum in the Democrat primary. Just before the weekend kicked off, though, liberal Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) made it clear that he's not "with her." Tester endorsed Lt. Governor Mike Cooney. Why would Tester jump in and endorse Cooney? I thought it was interesting what University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin had to say on Montana Public Radio:
SALDIN: ...so I think, you know, both Bullock and Tester have some debts to pay to Cooney.
Why is this interesting? Remember, Cooney was Governor Bullock's third LG in his first term in office. Cooney was brought in after Bullock kicked his female LG to the curb. Now, Bullock and Tester appear to be working to kick Whitney Williams to the curb because they have "some debts to pay Cooney." ***This post was first published around 430 AM Monday morning. The below tweet was added to the post around 540 AM: