HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock has more than $1.4 million to spend in his re-election campaign, while his Republican challenger, Greg Gianforte, has about $133,000 left after spending heavily in the first months of the governor’s race.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state on Monday also show that Gianforte gave his campaign another $100,000. In all, the Bozeman businessman has contributed $500,000 toward his bid for governor.
Monday’s filing reports were the first since the state’s June 7 primary elections and cover the period between May 28 and June 22.
Gianforte has spent more than $1.6 million since launching his campaign, while Bullock has spent $554,000.
While Gianforte might have drawn down much of the $1.8 million he’s raised, he can tap into his personal wealth to help finance his campaign.
US, nonprofit work with landowners to reduce wildfire risk
DENVER (AP) — The federal government and a nonprofit group say they’ll work with private property owners to reduce the risk of major wildfires and protect rivers in the West.
The U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the the American Forest Foundation said Tuesday the $5 million program will include California, Colorado, Montana and Oregon.
Another project will be selected in the Four Corners region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
The American Forest Foundation says the work targets areas at high risk of wildfires that could cause erosion and other problems for vital waterways.
The projects include areas in California’s Sierra Nevada range, the South Platte watershed in the mountains west of Denver, the headwaters of the Missouri River in Montana and the Blue Mountains of Oregon.
GOP governors group agrees to register campaign committee
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Republican Governors Association has agreed to register as a political committee in Montana after spending more than $450,000 prior to the state’s June 7 primary to benefit Bozeman businessman Greg Gianforte’s campaign for governor.
Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl called on the RGA to register as a committee after The Associated Press reported the group acknowledged spending large amounts of money for television spots critical of Gov. Steve Bullock.
The RGA filed a campaign finance report on Monday, the latest reporting deadline, as required of all political committees.
Under the auspices of the RGA Right Direction PAC, the association of GOP governors reported spending more than $453,000, the bulk for advertising and two polls.
State law requires groups spending money on Montana campaigns to register with Motl’s office.
Fire erupts at Columbia Falls baseball stadium
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A fire has destroyed the grandstand at a Columbia Falls baseball stadium.
The Flathead Beacon reports that the blaze broke out late Monday night. No injuries have been reported.
Fire officials are investigating what caused the flames, but initial reports indicate the blaze was started by fireworks in a nearby grass field.
Ray Queen is the president of the youth baseball organization that plays at the stadium. He says the bleachers have been completely destroyed, while the baseball field and dugouts were untouched.
Queen says the stadium has been a community landmark and that volunteers helped build the bleachers 25 years ago.
A cost estimate on the damage has not been released.
Allegiant Air increases service from Missoula to Los Angeles
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Allegiant Air has announced it will start offering nonstop flights from Missoula to Los Angeles year-round.
The Missoulian reports that the airline’s announcement Tuesday increases its service between Missoula International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. The flights had only operated during the summer.
Starting in August, the flights between the two cities will operate on Mondays and Fridays throughout the year.
The director of the Missoula airport, Cris Jensen, says the added flight service comes as the airport is on track to set another record year for its number of passengers.
Police arrest armed man after standoff in Bozeman
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Law-enforcement authorities have arrested an armed man who fled probation on a 1996 attempted murder conviction and then holed up inside a Bozeman home.
A video released by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office shows 38-year-old Chad Earl Williams walking out of the home Tuesday morning with his hands up.
Williams, who witnesses said was armed with a 9 mm pistol, had been speaking with negotiators since 6:30 a.m.
Sheriff’s officials said in a statement that a special response team removed other people from the home.
The Missoulian reports Williams was convicted in 1996 of shooting a man three times while trying to rob him. Williams was sentence to 50 years in prison with 25 years suspended.
The newspaper reports he absconded from probation, leading to a warrant to be issued for his arrest.