Dems challenging Gianforte in 2018 report good start in fundraising

Two Democrats running to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte in 2018 have raised more than a half-million dollars in campaign funds between them – and a third Democrat appears poised to enter the contest.

Billings attorney John Heenan, the first Democrat to announce he would challenge Gianforte, reported raising $325,000 in August and September – including a $100,000 loan from his own pocket.

“When you run for office, you don’t know how it’s going to go – it’s like having a party and you don’t know if people are going to show up,” he told MTN News Tuesday. “(But) people are showing up. … There’s just been tremendous enthusiasm.”

And Grant Kier, a former land-trust director from Missoula, said he raised $192,000 in the last three weeks of September, after announcing his candidacy.

“I think people know that I’m in this race because I believe in Montanans’ ability to come together and solve problems, and they’re demonstrating that they believe in me and my message on that front,” he said.