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The Latest: Gianforte rejects outsourcing claim

October 9, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on Saturday night’s Montana gubernatorial debate between Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte painted Gov. Steve Bullock as a career politician willing to manipulate the truth to stay in office as the candidates faced off in their final scheduled debate.

Gianforte reacted angrily Saturday night when Bullock accused the Bozeman high tech entrepreneur of outsourcing jobs to other countries through his former company, RightNow Technologies. Gianforte said the firm created hundreds of jobs.

Bullock for his part offered a forceful defense of his first term during the televised debate in Great Falls.

The Democrat touted the state’s economic gains under his watch and cast his opponent as a threat to public education and public access to streams.

There’s just one month to go until the Nov. 8 election. After months of attacks by their surrogates, Saturday’s event offered a last chance for the candidates to face off in person before early voting begins.


6:45 p.m.

Montana Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte says he’ll continue to support his party’s presidential candidate despite Donald Trump’s crude comments about women.

Gianforte said during a Saturday night debate that he was offended by the comments contained in a 2005 video obtained by The Washington Post.

But the Bozeman businessman making his first run for public office said he will reluctantly continue to support Trump in order to prevent Democrat Hillary Clinton from being elected.

Gianforte’s opponent, Gov. Steve Bullock, said Trump’s comments would be inappropriate if they came from a dog catcher, let alone a presidential candidate.

Nationwide more than a dozen Republicans — senators, congressmen and sitting governors — announced Saturday they would not vote for Trump.


2:30 p.m.

Montana’s gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to face off Saturday night in their last scheduled debate ahead of next month’s election.

The debate between Gov. Steve Bullock and Bozeman businessman Greg Gianforte in Great Falls will be broadcast live over Montana Television Network stations from Great Falls.

It begins at 6 p.m.

Bullock has spent the campaign season touting the strength of the state’s economy and promising to keep it going in the right direction. Gianforte says the Democratic incumbent is ignoring signs of trouble, with revenues dropping and jobs lost in the energy sector

In the run-up to the debate, Democrats tried to keep attention on Gianforte’s past support of a new sales tax.

Gianforte’s campaign said Bullock was trying to divert attention from his use of a state airplane for fundraising trips.

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