Posted: Jun 6, 2012 8:56 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Jun 6, 2012 8:56 AM
It was about midnight when Montana voters found out which gubernatorial candidates will face off in November, and the battle will be fought between Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican Rick Hill.
Going into the primary 10 candidates were vying for a shot at the governor's office, seven of them Republicans.
Now that the votes have been tallied and Hill has bested his primary opponents, he said, "This has really been fun, and part of the reasons it's been fun is that this has been a really interesting great group of people."
Several of the other Republicans in the race are already backing Hill and banding together to beat Bullock.
Former rival Neil Livingstone joined Hill on stage, and Hill said, "You don't know how much I appreciate this. We just got a call from Jim O'Hara also offering his support and more importantly, his billboards," a reference to O'Hara's hand-made and hand-erected billboards in all 56 Montana counties.
Hill says the message which won him this primary will carry forward into November: "More, better paying jobs, that's what we have been talking about for the past year. We are going to unleash Montana's economic potential. We are going to use priority budgeting. We are going to get government at the legislative and executive levels working together. And we are going to make sure that our kids have a quality education so they can compete in the 21st century."
Hill's running mate Jon Sonju says he is confident in their message moving forward, stating, "The deciding factor of Rick Hill is that he is not going to punt on the tough issues. I want to be part of moving Montana forward and I think Rick Hill is the best candidate."
Bullock, who currently serves as the MT Attorney General, handily defeated his primary opponent, Heather Margolis.
Hill served as Montana's sole U.S. Representative in Congress from 1997 to 2001.