AP NEWS

Steve Bullock, Montana governor, to run for president in 2020

May 14, 2019

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock jumped into the crowded race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, banking that his record running a red state will help distinguish him from a field that tops 20 candidates.

“Today we see evidence of a corrupt system all across America a government that serves campaign money, not the people,” Mr. Bullock said in an introductory video.

The video touts his record on campaign finance issues, Medicaid expansion and the environment, and notes that he governs a state President Trump carried by about 20 points in 2016.

“With your help, we will take our democracy back,” he said.

“I believe in an America where every child has a fair shot to do better than their parents. But we all know that that kind of opportunity no longer exists for most people and for far too many, it never has,” he said in the video.

“That’s why we need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice ... so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone. This is the fight of our time,” he said.

First elected governor in 2012, Mr. Bullock won re-election in 2016 and currently chairs the National Governors Association. He is a past chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

Mr. Bullock had to address a past controversy in February, when he said he was “wrong and naive” to think he did enough to address sexual harassment allegations involving Kevin O’Brien, a former top staffer who later went on to work for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He said that while Mr. O’Brien was let go after sexually harassing a colleague, Mr. Bullock should have done more to make future employers aware of the behavior. The staffer later left Mr. de Blasio’s office amid similar complaints.

“Four years ago I fell short in my role preventing sexual harassment,” Mr. Bullock said in a Medium post in February. “I’m sorry, and I’m committed to doing better.”

Mr. Bullock plans to highlight the issue of money in politics during his campaign, after making it a key issue both as governor and as Montana’s attorney general.

His website says he plans to sign an executive order immediately after taking office requiring companies to disclose all their political contributions and spending if they want to do business with the federal government.

He also plans to “empower” the federal government to “go after the secretive groups who corrupt our elections,” try to force “secretive donors” out into the open, work to ban super PACs, and direct his solicitor general to begin the process of appealing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, according to his campaign website.