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Gov. Bullock still mum on U.S. Senate race

Spends day in Missoula watching basketball
Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 20:08:07-05

As speculation continued Friday that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock may enter Montana’s 2020 U.S. Senate race by next week, neither the governor nor his staff would talk about it.

The deadline for candidate filing is Monday at 5 p.m., and Bullock had yet to schedule any events for that day.

The New York Times and other national publications reported earlier this week that Bullock appeared ready to jump into the race to challenge Republican Sen. Steve Daines – a move that would catapult the contest into one of the nation’s most-watched and expensive U.S. Senate races.

Multiple sources also told MTN News that Bullock may announce his candidacy on Monday.

But Bullock, who said as recently as last week that he wasn’t interested, hasn’t commented.

He spent Thursday and Friday in Missoula, watching his daughter Caroline play basketball for Helena High School in divisional playoff games. Bullock declined to talk to MTN News about the Senate race.

Four Democrats, all of whom are largely unknown to voters, already are in the race.

And on Friday, two other candidates had joined the scrum as well: Libertarian Eric Fulton of Whitefish, who filed late Thursday, and Wendie Frederickson of Helena, who said Friday afternoon she plans to file as a Green Party candidate.

Bullock ended a seven-month presidential run last December and has been steadfastly rejecting requests from national Democrats and others to enter the race, saying he wasn’t interested.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and former President Barack Obama each met with Bullock personally in the last month.

The other Democrats in the race are Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins, Bozeman physicist Michael Knoles, Loma rancher and engineer John Mues and health-policy expert Cora Neumann of Bozeman.