Aug 24, 2012 10:05 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA- Montana's race for governor is gaining national attention as hundreds of thousands of dollars in out of state money pour onto the airwaves.
The Democratic Governor's Association and the Republican Governor's Associations are both dumping money into the race between Steve Bullock (D) and Rick Hill (R) to ensure their party takes the governor's mansion in November.
This week both groups bought airtime totaling nearly half a million dollars. The ads are negative in nature and attack both Hill and Bullock, and both groups say that's because the stakes are high.
Montana's incumbent governor Brian Schweitzer (D) is termed out and that leaves his seat up for grabs.
Polling shows a tight race between Bullock and Hill and both parties are ramping up support for their respective candidates.
Mike Schrimpf of the Republican Governor's Association says the RGA is optimistic about November.
"There are 11 states holding governor's races this November and eight of them currently have Democratic governors, like Montana, where we have pick up opportunities," Schrimpf says. "So we are excited to be on offense and Montana is certainly one of the states at the top of the list."
Kate Hansen of the Democratic Governor's Association says, "The Montana governor's race is a top priority for the DGA this cycle, and we're looking forward to keeping the seat Democratic."
Looking at the history of the Governor's office, Montana voters have sent more Democrats than Republicans to the capitol.