Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Montana Democrat Sets $2 Million Fundraising Goal (Video)

The candidate: Democrat John Lewis, a former top aide to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
The member: Freshman Rep. Steve Daines, a Republican who represents the at-large district and is most likely running for Senate in 2014. Both parties expect an open race for this House seat in 2014.
The state:
Last cycle, Mitt Romney won Montana by more than a 13-point margin and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., won re-election by 4 points. But Republicans have held onto the state’s sole House seat for the past 17 years.
The candidate’s team
: Aaron Murphy (communications director), Barrett Kaiser (manager), Bob Funk (deputy manager), Geoff Garin of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group (pollster), Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media (media), Colleen Martin (finance director).

Former Capitol Hill aide John Lewis, a Democrat, predicted he will need at least $2 million to “have a chance” next year at Montana’s at-large seat — a district Republicans have held for nearly two decades.

“There’s going to be, as we saw last year, a flood of outside money,” Lewis told Roll Call in a Oct. 9 interview. “Montana is cheap airwaves. No one saw more outside money than Montana last year. … I’m going to have to raise at least $2 million to have a chance.”

Democrats control the Mountain State’s two Senate seats, but the party has had difficulty competing for the at-large district. In 2014, freshman GOP Rep. Steve Daines will likely run for retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus’ seat, creating an open-seat race for the at-large district.

Lewis has spent the past 12 years as an aide to Baucus. He reported raising $190,000 in his first six weeks of campaign, according to his fundraising report.

Several Republicans are looking at the House race, including state Rep. Champ Edmunds, state Sen. Matt Rosendale, and former state Senate Minority Leader Corey Stapleton.

Montana’s at-large House race is rated Republican favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.

Previous candidate interviews:

  • jrconner

    In Montana, Jon Sonju weeks ago withdrew from the contest for the GOP nomination for the U.S. House. Stapleton is a candidate, and now so is former state senator Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy commander who served with Seal Team 6.

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