Montana gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

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The Montana gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2012. The primary election was held on June 5, 2012.

Both Montana's current governor, Brian Schweitzer, and his lieutenant governor, John Bohlinger were prevented by term limits from seeking another term in office, leaving both seats open.[1]

In Montana, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a single ticket. In 2012, 11 sets of candidates entered the race: two Democrats, seven Republicans, one Libertarian and one set of independent candidates. The field was whittled down to four after the two major parties selected their candidates in the June 5th primary:

Democratic Party Steve Bullock and John E. Walsh (D) Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Rick Hill and Jon Sonju (R)
Libertarian Party Ron Vandevender and Marc Mulcahy (L)
Independent Bill Coate and Joni Oja


[edit]

General

Governor/Lieutenant Governor of Montana General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock and John E. Walsh 48.9% 236,450
     Republican Rick Hill and Jon Sonju 47.3% 228,879
     Libertarian Ron Vandevender and Marc Mulcahy 3.8% 18,160
Total Votes 483,489
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.


According to the website Daily Kos, this race was one of nine top-ballot 2012 races that contained Libertarian candidates who received more total votes than was the difference between the Democratic winner and the GOP runner-up. In this case, Ron Vandevender took in over 9,000 more votes than the number that separated Bullock and Hill.[2]

Primary

Governor/Lt. Governor of Montana, Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock & John E. Walsh 86.6% 76,738
Heather Margolis & Steve Nelsen 13.4% 11,823
Total Votes 88,561
Election Results Via:Montana Secretary of State.


Governor/Lt. Governor of Montana, Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRick Hill & Jon Sonju 34.4% 46,802
Corey Stapleton & Bob Keenan 18.1% 24,661
Ken Miller & Bill Gallagher 18% 24,496
Jim O'Hara & Scott Swingley 12.2% 16,653
Neil Livingstone & Ryan Zinke 8.8% 12,038
Jim Lynch & Al Olszewski 6.1% 8,323
Bob Fanning & Joel Boniek 2.3% 3,087
Total Votes 136,060
Election Results Via:Montana Secretary of State.


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NewsCalendar

Key dates

  • Administrative deadlines are at close of business (5:00) unless otherwise noted.
Deadline Event
Jan. 12 - Mar. 12 Candidate filing period
May 7 Voter registration for primary election
June 4, Noon Requests received for absentee ballot for primary election
June 5 Primary election
Aug. 13 Deadline for candidates to withdrawal general election candidacy
Aug. 23 Secretary of State certifies candidates on ballot
Nov. 5 Requests received for absentee ballot for general election
Nov. 6 General election
Dec. 3 Official results certified

Race tracking

See also: Ballotpedia Election Racetracking
2011 Race Rankings - Montana Governor
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[3] Toss-up
Governing Politics[4] Lean Republican
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[5] Leans Republican
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[6] No prediction yet
The Rothenberg Political Report[7] Pure Toss-up
Overall Call

General election candidates

Democratic Party Steve Bullock and John E. Walsh (D)
Republican Party Rick Hill and Jon Sonju (R)
Libertarian Party Ron Vandevender and Marc Mulcahy (L)
Independent Bill Coate and Joni Oja

Primary election candidates

Despite early speculation, there were a few surprises when the dust had settled after the candidate filing period came to an end on March 12, 2012.

  • The Democratic field was initially expected to be a three-person showdown, but state Senator Larry Jent dropped out of the race on March 8, 2012 saying he hadn't raised enough money to compete with Bullock,[8] who, according to early polling, was a heavy favorite with 70% of the primary vote to Jent's 6% (24% of voters were undecided).[9]
  • On the Republican side, gubernatorial hopeful Bob Fanning announced in early January his running mate would be Chuck Baldwin.[10] But Baldwin left the campaign in mid-February due to a lack of both money and a "quality organization"[11] and Fanning picked up a new running mate, former state Rep. Joel Boniek.

Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary candidates

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary candidates

Libertarian candidates

Independent candidates

Former candidates

Six of the nine gubernatorial candidates provided The Billings Gazette with a list of five individuals, groups or a combination that had endorsed them.[14]

Democrats

Steve Bullock

Republicans

Neil Livingstone

  • Glen Swope, President of the Montana Federation of Pachyderm Clubs
  • Rep. Mike Miller
  • Gregg Trude, Executive Director of Right to Life of Montana
  • Sen. Edward Buttrey
  • Paul Vallely, Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.)


Jim Lynch

  • Julie Peterson
  • George Ingahm
  • Rodney Garcia
  • Chuck Klefner
  • Mitch Stanley


Ken Miller

  • Mark Agather, Northwest Montana Patriots Association
  • Trude
  • Jeff Laszloffy, President of Montana Family Foundation, Laurel
  • Duarie Mitchell, former owner and founder of Mitchell Oil Service, Sidney
  • Kerry White, President of Citizens for Balanced Use

Corey Stapleton

  • Nick Wolter, CEO of Billings, Clinic
  • Ron Marlenee, former US Representative
  • Dennis Hicks and George Torp, founders of Montana Alliance for Constitutionalism
  • Ron Sexton, former Chancellor of Montana State University Billings


Jim O'Hara

  • Kent Wasson, farmer, rancher, entrepreneur
  • Dave Brown, CEO of Source Giant Springs Water Co.
  • Jim Taylor,CEO of Taylor's Family Auto Group
  • Bruce Hould, farmer and rancher
  • Rick Cook, clerk and recorded in Chouteau County

General election polls

Without Coate or Vandevender

Governor of Montana
Poll Steve Bullock Rick HillUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Pharos Research Group
(October 26-28, 2012)
47.1%44.4%8.5%+/-3.5799
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

With Coate and Vandevender

Governor of Montana
Poll Steve Bullock Rick HillRon VandevenderBill CoateUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(September 10-11, 2012)
44%39%4%4%9%+/-3.8656
Public Policy Polling
(October 8-10, 2012)
42%43%4%4%7%+/-3.6737
AVERAGES 43% 41% 4% 4% 8% +/-3.7 696.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

With Vandevender

Governor of Montana
Poll Steve Bullock Rick HillRon VandevenderUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Mason-Dixon Polling and Research
(September 17-19, 2012)
44%43%2%11%+/-4.0625
Mason-Dixon Polling and Research
( October 29-31, 2012)
46%49%2%3%+/-4.0625
AVERAGES 45% 46% 2% 7% +/-4 625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Steve Bullock as Democratic candidate

Steve Bullock vs. Jeff Essmann
Poll Steve Bullock Jeff EssmannUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
42%30%28%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Steve Bullock vs. Rick Hill
Poll Steve Bullock Rick HillUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
38%39%23%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Steve Bullock vs. Neil Livingstone
Poll Steve Bullock Neil LivingstoneUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
41%29%30%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Steve Bullock vs. Ken Miller
Poll Steve Bullock Ken MillerUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
40%31%29%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Larry Jent as Democratic candidate

Larry Jent vs. Jeff Essmann
Poll Larry Jent Jeff EssmannUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
26%30%44%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Larry Jent vs. Rick Hill
Poll Larry Jent Rick HillUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
26%39%35%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Larry Jent vs. Neil Livingstone
Poll Larry Jent Neil LivingstoneUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
26%30%44%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Larry Jent vs. Ken Miller
Poll Larry Jent Ken MillerUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling (November 28-30, 2011)
25%33%42%+/-2.41,625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

The candidates for governor met several times, though not always as a full field.

9 candidates; both parties

On February 27, the Cascade County Farm Bureau sponsored a forum for 8 Republicans and 1 Democrat, Larry Jent. The candidates addressed a range of issues, including the threat of brucellosis to the state's cattle population, combination schools in rural communities, and the Keystone XL pipeline. Each candidate was also given the opportunity to make their case to the voters.[15]

GOP candidates

Five of the seven GOP gubernatorial candidates met in Whitefish on May 2. Key issues in the debate included lowering property taxes, utilizing more of the state's natural resources, making the state's legal and regulatory climate less adversarial and finding new funding sources for public education.[16][17]

At the beginning of the debate the candidates were asked, in turn, to highlight the strengths of their campaign and refute issues that have been brought to light throughout the campaign.

  • Jim Lynch touted his record of saving the state $9.7 million, as Director of the Montana Department of Transportation, by reducing the number of employees and overtime hours.[16] He argued it is attitude - not taxes and regulations - that is impeding growth, and explained he would jump start the state's economy by using similar existing savings in state government.[17]
  • Neil Livingstone, who has been accused of being more federally-focused, translated his management of "nine-figure companies around the world" into experience, objectivity and vision for Montana.[16] He encouraged drilling, mining and logging as solutions to "turn Montana's economy around," and vowed to create a "legal and regulatory environment that allows Montana to prosper again."[17]
  • Ken Miller pledged to end both the business employment tax and corporate income tax.[16] He proposed a "loser-pay" law intended to limit the number of lawsuits brought in the state and expedite the issuance of environmental permits and said he would "push for an amendment to the portion of Montana's constitution that states everyone is entitled to a clean and healthy environment, because it invites broad judicial interpretation."[17]
  • Corey Stapleton suggested the problem of delayed development of Montana's oil and coal production is rooted in the gubernatorial appointments made to board and commissions charged with oversight.[17] He suggested Montana should look to revenue from natural resource development to create $220 million of permanent property tax relief and fund public education.[16]
  • Like Stapleton, Rick Hill advocated for a reduction in local property taxes, pointing to Wyoming's success in funding public education with coal tax revenues.[16] He also criticized "trial lawyers and environmentalists" who he felt were behind a statewide regulatory structure that was stymieing Montana's economic growth.[17]

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online.

Due dates for primary election:

  • May 21: Pre-primary report #1
  • May 31: Pre-primary report #2
  • June 25: Post-primary report

Due dates for general election:

  • October 22: Pre-general election report #1
  • November 1: Pre-general election report #2
  • November 26: Post-general election report

Candidates

Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-primary report #1[18]May 19, 2012$394,985.03$72,910.01$(47,915.10)$419,979.94
Pre-primary report #2[19]May 31, 2012$419,669.94$34,633.00$(7,440.44)$446,862.50
Post-primary report[20]June 25, 2012$446,562.50$97,539.12$(24,115.81)$519,985.81
Running totals
$205,082.13$(79,471.35)

Rick Hill

Rick Hill Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-primary report #1[21]May 20, 2012$220,936.86$43,894.02$(165,182.23)$99,648.65
Pre-primary report #2[22]May 31, 2012$95,748.65$25,497.00$(75,529.58)$45,716.07
Post-primary report[23]June 25, 2012$45,716.07$31,258.69$(59,808.78)$17,165.98
Running totals
$100,649.71$(300,520.59)

Ron Vandevender

Ron Vandevender Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-primary report #1[24]May 21, 2012$5.72$30.00$(25.95)$9.77
Pre-primary report #2[25]May 30, 2012$9.77$41.00$(40.95)$9.82
Post-primary report[26]June 25, 2012$9.82$0.00$(0.00)$9.82
Running totals
$71$(66.9)

News

Campaign sites

Democrats:

Republicans:

Libertarian:


Independent:

Campaign ads

Steve Bullock

Rick Hill


Montana Jobs, Education, and Technology (JET) PAC
Complicated

Republican Governors Association
Climate
Costing You Jobs

AFSCME MT
Order

See also

External links

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Suggest a link


References

  1. Montana Secretary of State, "Term limits," accessed June 8, 2012
  2. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  3. The Cook Political Report, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  4. Governing Politics, “Looking Ahead: The 2011-2012 Gubernatorial Landscape”, December 2, 2010
  5. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2011 Governor Ratings”
  6. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  7. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  8. KPAX.com, "Democrat Larry Jent drops out of race for governor," March 9, 2012
  9. Public Policy Polling, "Republican hill leads Bullock by one for MT-Gov. (page 3)," December 5, 2011
  10. Flathead Beacon, "Fanning and Baldwin: In this to win," January 17, 2012
  11. KRTV.com, "MT gubernatorial candidate Fanning loses running mate," February 13, 2012
  12. Billings Gazette, "Turiano leaves governor's race to run for secretary of state," January 16, 2012
  13. KXLH.com, "Essman ends run or Governor of MT," January 27, 2012
  14. Billings Gazette, "6 governor candidates list campaign endorsements," May 28, 2012
  15. KPAX.com, 9 MT gubernatorial candidates square off in Great Falls," February 28, 2012
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 KPAX.com, "Montana GOP candidates debate in Whitefish," May 2, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 The Missoulian, "5 GOP candidates for Montana governor hold debate," May 2, 2012
  18. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Steve Bullock, "May 19, 2012
  19. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Steve Bullock, May 31, 2012
  20. http://applicationengine.mt.gov/getContent?vsId={8D83C7D8-4394-45E6-BC0E-DE0AFCC20364}&impersonate=true&objectStoreName=PROD%20OBJECT%20STORE&objectType=document Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Steve Bullock, June 25, 2012
  21. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rick Hill, May 20, 2012
  22. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rick Hill, May 31, 2012
  23. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rick Hill, June 25, 2012
  24. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rob Vandevender, May 21, 2012
  25. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rob Vandevender, May 30, 2012
  26. Candidate Campaign Finance Report: Rob Vandevender, June 25, 2012