Update 9:41 p.m. The Associated Press has called the Democratic primary for Mike Cooney.
Cooney, who was Gov. Steve Bullock’s running mate four years ago against Gianforte, gave a statement to MTN News on the November contest:
“We ran against Mr. Gianforte in 2016. We know what he’s going to do. He’s going to try to buy this thing and I don’t think Montanans are going to put up with that. I think they want to keep control of their elections. They want somebody with the leadership and experience, who can hit the ground running from day one, and that’s exactly what we’re prepared to do.”
Gianforte released this statement Tuesday night:
“I’m grateful for the overwhelming support we received throughout this campaign from every corner of our state. I want to thank my friends, Tim and Al, who ran spirited campaigns. I appreciate their commitment to public service, and I look forward to working with them to build the kind of Republican unity we need to win in November,” Gianforte said.
“As we face these challenging times, I hear from Montanans over and over again that we need a new course, that we need a proven business leader in the governor’s office – one who’s created high-paying jobs here in Montana and one who understands our Montana way of life. I’ve spent my life creating jobs, solving problems, and serving others. It’s what I know how to do, and it’s what I want to do for Montana as your next governor. On day one, I’ll roll up my sleeves and start working so we can get our economy going again, get Montana open for business, and get Montanans back to work in good-paying jobs. I look forward to a campaign of ideas and to continuing to focus on our positive, hopeful vision for our state. I know our best days are ahead of us,” Gianforte said.