Montana Dem boosted by some celebrity donations

Montana Dem boosted by some celebrity donations
© Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Montana's closely watched special House election has drawn some Hollywood buzz, with Democrat Rob Quist receiving donations from a few television and movie stars along with some other high-profile names.

Film actors Jeff Bridges and Bill Pullman donated to Quist's campaign, as did billionaire investor Chris Sacca, of "Shark Tank" fame.

"Two and a Half Men" actor Jon Cryer also contributed to Quist's campaign.

And comedian Rosie O'Donnell, whose repeated spars with President Trump have upped her political profile, is also pitching in. Trump, who has repeatedly attacked O'Donnell's appearance, recently jabbed O'Donnell after he fired FBI Director James Comey by noting on Twitter that she had also called for Comey's ouster.


Cryer, O'Donnell and Sacca all gave the maximum $2,700 each, while Pullman gave $250 and Bridges gave $1,000.

The celebrity activity in Montana hasn't quite hit the level seen in the fierce special election campaign in Georgia. In that race, more than a dozen celebrities donated over $16,000 to Democrat Jon Ossoff.

But the Montana numbers show even more evidence of celebrities upping their liberal political involvement since the Trump presidency.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures for Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana, don't include many famous names. The closest things to a celebrity in his corner is conservative science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, the best-selling author of Ender's Game, who donated $250, and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who gave $2,500.

Gianforte also has support from a handful of top Republicans — Govs. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) both gave $2,700 for the bid against Quist, as did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and GOP mega-donor Foster Friess.

While Republicans have held Montana's single House seat since the 1996 elections, Democrats have been emboldened by Trump's sinking favorability and turmoil within the administration and are trying to take back the seat.

Quist's campaign announced that it had raised more than $5 million for the election, which included numbers that had not yet been filed with the FEC. Gianforte's campaign has raised at least $3.5 million, according to the latest FEC numbers, but that doesn't count the most recent donations that have not been filed.

While Gianforte has led in all major polling, there are signs that the race is tightening.