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Gianforte loans campaign $1 million, Quist tops in individual donors

May 15, 2017 GMT

The Republican candidate for Montana’s open U.S. House seat loaned his campaign $1 million, according to recent filings, while the Democrat brought in $2.3 million in individual contributions.

Republican Greg Gianforte, a wealthy Bozeman businessman, had not yet loaned his campaign any money before this filing period, which ran from April 1 to May 5. In his failed bid for governor last fall, Gianforte spent more than $5 million of his own money. The race was the most expensive in state history.

Quist, on the other hand, brought in $2.3 million from individual contributions. The report said $644,045 came from itemized individual contributions and $1.68 million from unitemized individual contributions. The details on those contributions are not yet available for this filing. Earlier ones showed Quist received a large number of contribution from ActBlue, a major online fundraising tool for Democrats.

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Gianforte took in $610,706 from individual contributions.

Quist spent $2.35 million in April and the first five days of May, leaving the campaign with $668,995 in the bank. Gianforte’s campaign spent $1.46 million and left $826,128 in the bank.

The election is May 25, the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. Over the last month, Quist’s campaign has cited national interest and money flowing into the race, as well as large crowd sizes at campaign events in rural and typically Republican areas, as a sign momentum is turning toward the Democrat as the popularity of Republican President Donald Trump has dropped.

In a state where the president won last November by 20 percentage points, Gianforte has worked to align himself with Trump, bringing his son out for two tours of rallies through the state and last Friday campaigning with Vice President Mike Pence in Billings.