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Democrat Williams leads all candidates in fundraising for U.S. House race

Democrat Kathleen Williams

(KPAX) Democrat Kathleen Williams out-raised all candidates in the crowded 2020 field for Montana’s U.S. House seat during the first three months of this year – and bested the top Republican in the race by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

Williams, the former state representative from Bozeman who lost the general-election race for this seat in 2018, has raised $475,000 so far this year, pushing her campaign total to $1.64 million – more than any other House candidate.

Williams is one of two Democrats in the contest for the open seat, while six Republicans are competing for the GOP nomination.

Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale continues to have a huge fundraising edge over his competitors in the GOP primary, taking in $248,000 this year and increasing his campaign total to $1.32 million.

As of March 31, Rosendale had about $984,000 remaining in his campaign account – while Williams still had $1.12 million.

The seat is open because incumbent Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte is running for governor this year.

Williams lost the 2018 contest to Gianforte by five percentage points. She’s been one of the 2020 race’s fundraising leaders since entering the campaign last April.

The other Democrat in the race, state Rep. Tom Winter of Missoula, also has posted respectable campaign fundraising numbers, outdoing all other candidates except for Williams and Rosendale.

He raised $73,000 during the first three months of this year, increasing his total for the campaign to $338,000.

Here are the latest fundraising numbers for the other Republicans in the contest:

Joe Dooling: The Helena farmer-rancher took in $42,000 this year, the most of any Republican besides Rosendale. He has raised a total of $90,500, including about $9,000 from his own pocket, and had about $22,500 remaining in his account as of March 31.

Debra Lamm: The former state Republican Party chair raised just $14,000 for the first three months of the year, giving her $59,000 for the campaign.

Corey Stapleton: The current secretary of state raised only $11,000 during the latest period, increasing his overall total to $166,000. He still had $56,000 in his account on March 31.

Republicans Mark McGinley and John Evankovich have not reported raising any money.