Dem in Montana special election breaks $5M fundraising mark

Dem in Montana special election breaks $5M fundraising mark
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Montana Democratic nominee Rob Quist’s campaign announced Thursday that he's raised more than $5 million, with just one week before the nationally watched special election for the state's only House seat.

Quist’s eye-popping fundraising haul includes more than 200,000 individual contributions the campaign said was raised in 85 days.

The high-dollar number comes as Quist looks to deliver a major upset on May 25 against Republican nominee Greg Gianforte for the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

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"Rob's story is resonating with voters who want someone who will stand up for them," said Quist campaign spokeswoman Tina Olechowski. "After medical complications following surgery, Rob got into debt. He paid off his debt, but Rob believes no one should ever face bankruptcy just because they get sick.

"Greg Gianforte supports the health care bill that would raise costs for consumers, eliminate health coverage for seventy thousand Montanans, and end protections for pre-existing conditions — all to pay for huge tax breaks for millionaires like Gianforte himself."

Democrats want to frame upcoming special elections in Montana and Georgia as a referendum on President Trump, attempting to prove that the party has made gains since its 2016 losses. Quist, a local folk musician, has looked to capitalize on his base’s momentum in a state Trump carried by 20 points.

Gianforte, a wealthy businessman, is a familiar name in Montana politics after unsuccessfully running for governor last year. He’s aligned himself closely with the White House, with his campaign boosted with appearances from Vice President Pence and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE Jr.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, Gianforte has raised more than $3.3 million from late January to early May.

Quist’s $5 million haul is a large sum for a House candidate but is shy of Georgia Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff’s unprecedented $8.3 million, though he has raised more since his pre-primary fundraising report. Ossoff looks to deliver an upset against GOP nominee Karen Handel in Georgia’s special election.