Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our friends at Congressional Quarterly preview the Montana gubernatorial race, which, if not likely to be competitive, at least could be described as vaguely intriguing:
State Sen. Roy Brown is the heavy favorite to win the Republican primary for governor of Montana on Tuesday, a prize that would put him into a matchup with first-term Democratic incumbent Brian Schweitzer. His political experience and relatively high profile as a former state House majority leader give him big advantages over his sole opponent for the GOP nomination, Larry Steele, a computer company employee who previously staged unsuccessful bids for offices such as state legislature and mayor of Great Falls.
And Brown, formerly an energy development executive, reported raising around $352,000 for his campaign to just more than $2,000 for the underfinanced Steele.
But Brown, though he would provide Montana Republicans with a solid contender, faces a tougher campaign trail en route to November. Schweitzer will enter the general election contest as a strong favorite for re-election. A poll conducted May 19-21 by the Mason-Dixon organization for the Lee newspaper chain showed Schweitzer with a 55 percent to 30 percent lead over Brown.
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