For those who follow national politics, the premier race in Montana in 2012 will be Republican Denny Rehberg’s bid to unseat Democratic senator Jon Tester; in a presidential year, Rehberg has, at the very least, a decent shot of winning the seat. But it sounds like Montana’s other big statewide race, for governor, is attracting a crowd on both sides of the aisle:
Democratic Sen. Larry Jent of Bozeman says he will be running for governor in 2012 . . . Jent is an attorney who served in the state House from 2001 to 2006 and the state Senate since then. The former Army officer said he wants to continue the sort of fiscal policies seen under Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Another Democratic state senator, Dave Wanzenried of Missoula, also is running while Attorney General Steve Bullock says he may run for governor.
The Republican side is even more crowded, with former congressman Rick Hill facing off against former state senators Ken Miller of Laurel and Corey Stapleton of Billings. Washington, D.C., security consultant Neil Livingstone and Chouteau County Commissioner Jim O’Hara.
Schweitzer currently enjoys high approval ratings, which will probably be helpful to the Democrat who seeks to follow him.