Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana, announced on Tuesday that he is entering the presidential race after pushing a progressive agenda in a conservative state.
Among a crowded field of more than 20 Democratic candidates, Bullock attempted to distinguish himself in his campaign launch video by touting his ability to work with Republicans and his record of fighting corporate spending in elections.
“I don’t have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me,” Bullock said in the video.
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In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won Montana by 21 percentage points and Bullock was re-elected by 4 percentage points.
Before Montana voters elected Bullock governor in 2012, he was the state’s attorney general.
The 53-year-old supported same-sex marriage, expanded access to the federal health insurance plan Medicaid and protected public lands. He is also pro-choice and supports an assault weapons ban.
His campaign video hints at these issues but focuses primarily on his fight against corporate spending in elections.
As attorney general, Bullock ensured Montana was the only state to keep its corporate spending restrictions after the Citizens United decision allowed corporate cash to flood US elections.
“We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone,” Bullock said in his first campaign video.
Despite his liberal credentials, Bullock is a long shot for the presidency in the most diverse Democratic field in US history. He has also entered the race late, which could make it more difficult to spark interest among major donors.
He has a low national profile and governs one of the least populated states in the union, with 1.06 million people calling Montana home, according to the US Census.
Bullock’s campaign will formally begin on Tuesday at his former school, Helena high school. He is scheduled to then travel to Iowa for three days.