(Daily Montanan) Coming up on the primary election, Monica Tranel is touting her success raising the most money of any Democratic candidate in this period, and Cora Neumann is underscoring her “grassroots donations” and decrying attack ads.

June 7 is the primary in Montana, and voters who wish to cast a ballot must register by noon the day before, on June 6. Montana gained a second congressional seat in the 2020 U.S. Census, and the Democratic primary in the new western district is fiery.

Tranel, a Missoula lawyer, raised $207,000 in the pre-primary reporting period, and she has $98,189 to spend. She said this in a statement: “Since day one, our campaign has been committed to showing up in every town, from Eureka to West Yellowstone, and that hard work is paying off as voters begin to cast ballots. I’m proud to be running a grassroots campaign fueled by everyday Montanans.”

Neumann, a Bozeman nonprofit executive, has raised more total money, at $1.33 million, but in the recent reporting period, she took in $162,305. Neumann’s campaign manager Emma Harris said this in a statement: “While our competitors are resorting to self-funding or using a super PAC to bolster their campaigns, Cora remains fueled by Montana grassroots contributions and committed to delivering for Montanans when in Congress. We’re proud of the integrity of the campaign we’ve built.”

Also vying for the nomination is former state lawmaker Tom Winter, who has raised just a fraction of the dollars of his opponents this period, $13,627, and has about half to spend.

The three are competing to take on the likely winner of the Republican nomination, Ryan Zinke, a former congressman and the Trump Administration’s Secretary of the Interior. Based in Polson, Winter took aim at Zinke, who has received nearly $3 million total in the race, in one recent campaign email.

“If we let Ryan Zinke win this seat, he’ll be one more vote in Washington for destroying Medicare and Social Security,” said the email from the Winter campaign. “And right now, we’re the only campaign putting pressure on him about it. Democrats must stand united on this.”

Zinke pulled in $451,959 this period and has $878,677 to spend, and only a couple of the Republican candidates who filed to try to unseat him are also raising money. Former state Sen. Al Olszewski pulled in $30,517, and he’s got $176,673 to spend. Mary Todd, a pastor, earned $26,406, and she’s got $51,298 remaining.

In the western district, GOP candidates Matt Jette and Mitch Heuer didn’t file reports.


In the eastern district, incumbent Rep. Matt Rosendale leaves any aspiring GOP competitor in the dust in fundraising, pulling in $180,558 this period. He counts $1.14 million in the bank.

In second, but not close, is James Boyette, who counts the only other reported GOP House primary money in this district. It’s $2,250 this year. A couple Republican competitors didn’t file reports, and those are Kyle Austin and Charles Walking Child.

On the Democrat side, former Billings councilwoman Penny Ronning pulled in $8,299 this period and has $4,660 to spend. Skylar Williams earned $803 and has $48 in the bank.