What’s the worst that could happen if Greg Gianforte runs for governor?

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-MT, plans to announce in the next few days whether he will run for governor of Montana. The expectation is that he has already made a decision to do so.

He probably shouldn’t.

What’s the worst that could happen? That’s easy. Montana Republicans give up a safe seat in Congress, get locked out of the governor’s mansion for the fifth time in 16 years, and give Jon Tester bragging rights for swinging Montana further left.


Gianforte, whom I like personally, has already lost the race for governor once — and that was before he got in a fight with a reporter and made himself a target of national ridicule. Yes, there will be no Democratic incumbent this time around, but Montana voters are an ornery bunch and they probably won’t reward Gianforte for changing horses in midstream.

As a congressman, Gianforte has been a reliable Trump supporter and he has earned the respect of voters for that. He could probably be easily re-elected in that capacity, but Montanans have a different yardstick for governors. After four terms of Democratic governors, the time is ripe for a change, but Gianforte’s personal attributes (self-made millionaire, fundamentalist Christian, reporter assaulter, born in another state) could work against him in another bid for governor.

What’s worse, if he runs for governor, it throws the race for Montana’s sole US House seat into turmoil. Matt Rosendale, who just lost his race for Senate against vulnerable Democrat Jon Tester, would probably run. Again, although Rosendale would be a reliable pro-Trump vote in Congress, he has some personal attributes that rub Montanans the wrong way — born and raised out of state, ambitious, wealthy, political animal — and could spell defeat in what should be a safe seat.


  • I’m OK with both of these outcomes — Gianforte running for governor and Rosendale for House — but if it happens, the GOP had better join together next November because it’s going to be a long, hard fight.
  • But if Republicans didn’t make things hard for themselves, they wouldn’t be Republicans, right?


    Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To support my work, please consider buying my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy, which documents the downward spiral of the USA before Trump arrived on the scene. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Thanks!


    3 thoughts on “What’s the worst that could happen if Greg Gianforte runs for governor?

    1. I’ve never considered being a native born Montanan of particular importance so had no problem voting for Gianforte and Rosendale in previous state elections; however, it’s simply the frosting on the cake for Tim Fox in his bid for the governorship. Having followed his political career closely for the past 3 years, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with his dedicated steadiness as our Attorney General and the progress he has made in dealing with sexual abuse, trafficking, drug abuse, DUI repeats and other troubling Montana problems. Sorry Greg. Not this time.

    2. I’m sorry to say I think you right on Frank. R’s had better stiffen their resolve with new faces and hard core conservative values or else the Montana liberal swing to leftist progressives will be complete. I don’t think the R’s have it in their spine anymore. I think the Rosendale and Gianforte races each demonstrated the lack of a street fighter’s instinct to respond to campaign allegations from the left with fire and fury. Instead they played patty cake with boring repeats of initial campaign advertising ad nauseum.

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