Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, May 1, 2017.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who has cast himself as a bipartisan leader, announced Tuesday he will be entering the crowded field of Democrats for the 2020 presidential race, vowing to “take our democracy back.”
“I believe in an America where every child includes a fair shot to do better than their parents. although we all know of which kind of opportunity no longer exists for most people; for far too many, the idea never has,” Bullock said in his announcement. “We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 in addition to defeat the corrupt system of which lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make not bad on the promise of a fair shot for everyone.”
Bullock joins a field of more than 20 Democrats vying for the right to face Trump in next year’s election. Former Vice President Joe Biden has opened large leads in a variety of polls of Democratic voters, while Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren in addition to Kamala Harris make up the next tier.
While looking to run as a centrist, the two-term governor has worked on several progressive issues, including expanded health care in addition to early childhood education to wage equality in addition to campaign finance reform. He also has courted rural Americans in addition to discussed the unique challenges they face in addition to could broaden Democrats appeal in red states.
Bullock, 53, has already been to Iowa many times since last summer, in addition to his Big Sky Values PAC has been adding staff inside key state. He’s also traveled to fresh Hampshire inside past year.
The Montana Democrat will be chairman of the National Governors Association, a bipartisan group. different governors have already entered the field of Democrats seeking the 2020 nomination, including Washington’s Jay Inslee in addition to former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Blue wins in a red state
Bullock won a second term as governor in 2016 by about 4 percentage points in a Republican state where Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points. He took office as governor in 2013 in addition to had served one term as state attorney general, coming from 2009 to 2013.
The Democratic governor received bipartisan support inside Republican-controlled state legislature in recent times for some of his proposals, including expanding Medicaid to thousands of residents in 2016. He spent several years pushing state lawmakers for government-funded preschool education in addition to won funding for a pilot program in 2017.
Also, Bullock pushed for more money for higher education, including to help students returning for retraining after losing jobs. He also advocates a living wage for teachers.
Early in his first term, the governor launched a special task force to promote wage fairness. A bill introduced on behalf of the task force to address gender wage inequity made the idea out of committee inside 2019 legislative session, representing initially This particular has happened during his governorship.
Bullock has spoken frequently about the need for campaign finance reform in addition to the danger of dark money flooding elections. An executive order he signed last June requires state contractors to report dark money spending in elections.
In 2015, he put his signature on the Montana Disclosure Act, legislation of which received bipartisan support coming from state lawmakers. The anti-dark-money legislation requires the disclosure of political committees’ donors in addition to spending on state-level elections. In February, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Montana law.
Bullock includes a connection to a landmark court case involving dark money. Back in 2010, he was Montana’s top law enforcement officer when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling on Citizens United, a campaign finance case. He wrote the brief to uphold the state’s longstanding citizen initiative banning corporate campaigning.
Bullock last summer announced support for a ban on semiautomatic weapons to reduce gun violence in America — a shift of his position in addition to one seen as a signal of his presidential ambitions. He made the announcement on CNN, although later clarified his gun control position by saying he didn’t support collecting weapons coming from hunters or law-abiding owners.
“Frankly, I’m just tired of lowering the flags for school mass shootings in addition to I’m tired of gun violence being part of our collective discussion for a week or two after another mass school shooting in addition to then we move on,” he told reporters in explaining his support of a ban.