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June 02, 2008

What Can Brown Do in Montana?

posted by Josh Goodman

Our friends at Congressional Quarterly preview the Montana gubernatorial race, which, if not likely to be competitive, at least could be described as vaguely intriguing:

State Sen. Roy Brown is the heavy favorite to win the Republican primary for governor of Montana on Tuesday, a prize that would put him into a matchup with first-term Democratic incumbent Brian Schweitzer. His political experience and relatively high profile as a former state House majority leader give him big advantages over his sole opponent for the GOP nomination, Larry Steele, a computer company employee who previously staged unsuccessful bids for offices such as state legislature and mayor of Great Falls.

And Brown, formerly an energy development executive, reported raising around $352,000 for his campaign to just more than $2,000 for the underfinanced Steele.

But Brown, though he would provide Montana Republicans with a solid contender, faces a tougher campaign trail en route to November. Schweitzer will enter the general election contest as a strong favorite for re-election. A poll conducted May 19-21 by the Mason-Dixon organization for the Lee newspaper chain showed Schweitzer with a 55 percent to 30 percent lead over Brown.


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