Gov. Steve Bullock announces he’s running for president

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock just became the 23rd Democratic candidate to enter the presidential race Tuesday, seeking to distinguish himself from the crowded field by highlighting his record as a Democratic governor in a state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016.

“We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone,” Bullock said in a video announcement.

The Montana Democrat joins the largest and most diverse Democratic primary field in modern history. Relatively unknown at the national level, Bullock must now compete with candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and Kamala Harris of California.

Bullock has managed to win several statewide elections in predominantly rural Montana by running as a moderate who also embraces some liberal proposals. During the 2016 election, when Mr. Trump won Republican-leaning Montana by nearly 21 percentage points, Bullock was reelected by a 4-point margin.

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On Tuesday the Montana governor will be launching his presidential campaign at his alma mater, Helena High School, before leaving for a three-day, eight-county swing through Iowa. It’ll be his seventh trip to the first-in-the-nation caucus state. He has also visited early-voting states like New Hampshire and Nevada over the past several months.

Since assuming control of the governor’s mansion in 2013, he has supported same-sex marriage, net neutrality and held pro-choice views on abortion. He also worked with the Republican-controlled legislature to push through some of the most sweeping campaign finance reforms in the country. Before his current tenure as governor, he served as Montana’s attorney general for one term.

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