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Montana’s Democratic candidates running for office encouraged their supporters to knock on doors and turn in their ballots at a rally in Bozeman on Saturday.

Gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, Senate candidate Gov. Steve Bullock and House candidate Kathleen Williams criticized their Republican opponents’ records on health care, public lands and education at the rally. They spoke in front of approximately 50 masked people at an empty lot on W. Lamme St.

Bozeman’s rally was one of several the Democrats have organized across the state in their final push to win votes before the 2020 election. Olivia Bercow, a spokesperson for the Bullock campaign, said the candidates have been doing “drive in” campaign events together.

On Sunday, the candidates are heading to Butte and Missoula. Cooney is scheduled to return to Bozeman for another rally on Monday.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines, Bullock’s opponent, held a rally in Bozeman on Friday outside the GOP office south of Bozeman. He was scheduled to attend a rally in Kalispell with Donald Trump Jr. Saturday evening. Trump Jr. is campaigning for Daines, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte and House Republican candidate Matt Rosendale.

Cooney said public lands, public education and health care are all at risk in this election. He criticized Gianforte for his campaign spending, pointing out that Gianforte had spent $7.5 million of his own money on his campaign, as reported by the Associated Press.

Cooney urged his supporters to wear masks as they knock on doors and engage in face-to-face conversations with voters.

“They know what’s at stake,” Cooney said. “Our opponents will always outspend us.”

Cooney’s running mate, state House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner, was also at the rally.

Bullock said he has always worked to bring Democrats and Republicans together. Health care, public lands and small businesses are on the ballot in this election, according to Bullock. He criticized Daines’ record on health care and public lands, and claimed his opponent has consistently voted against coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“These elections will be so close,” Bullock said. “Knocking on doors and the conversations you’re having will make all the difference.”

Williams said her priorities in Congress will be to fix health care and protect Montanans’ outdoor heritage. She criticized her Republican opponent Matt Rosendale, claiming he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and transfer public lands.

“We can do better,” she said. “This race is tied. Every door could be the door that puts me over the top.”

The races for the Senate, House and governor have all been tight, according to polls.

A lot of the vote is already in. As of Saturday, more than 504,000 ballots had been received, according to the Office of the Montana Secretary of State. That’s more than 76% of the ballots that were sent to voters.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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