Bullock raises $7.7M in second quarter in bid for Senate

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's campaign said Monday that it raised $7.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. The Democrat's bid against Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Daines has emerged as a critical race in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Factoring in the campaign's spending, the amount raised by Bullock between April 1 and the June 30 close of the campaign finance reporting period left him with $7.4 million in cash heading into the final four months of the race.

“As voters grow tired of the dysfunction and chaos coming out of D.C., they’re turning to Governor Bullock who offers steady leadership and has a record of doing what’s right for all Montanans,” Bullock campaign manager Megan Simpson said.

More than 95% of the contributions received by the campaign were under $200, and the campaign did not accept any funding from corporate PACs, according to campaign officials. The campaign did not immediately release more detailed information about the filing period.

Daines campaign spokesperson Julia Doyle said the Republican will release his fundraising numbers when they are due next week.

Doyle said Bullock's hefty fundraising total was not a surprise given that party leaders including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had pressed the two-term governor to get into the race.

Bullock raised $3.3 million in just a few weeks during the first quarter of 2020, after announcing his candidacy March 9. Daines raised $1.3 million in the same reporting period.

Outside political groups also have been pouring money into the race, underscoring its importance as Republicans seek to hold on to their slim Senate majority.

Democrats need to pick up four seats in November to win outright control of the Senate. Bullock is seen by many as Democrats’ best chance to flip the seat held by Daines, a first-term senator.

So-called independent expenditures not directly tied to the candidates’ campaigns total more than $2.2 million to date, according to federal campaign filings. The outside spending has been split relatively evenly between the two sides, the filings show.

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This story has been corrected by removing an inaccurate figure for the total campaign contributions received by Bullock.