HELENA, Mont. - Lt. Governor Mike Cooney released the following statement after conceding the gubernatorial election to Governor-elect Greg Gianforte.
“Greg, congratulations. I congratulate you, your family and your campaign. I will do everything I can as Lt. Governor to make sure there is a smooth transition between our administrations,” said Lt. Governor Mike Cooney. “There’s no doubt our priorities and our visions for Montana are different. But I wish you the best as you continue your journey in public service.”
“I expect Mr. Gianforte to serve the state that we love with the best interests of all Montanans in mind,” Cooney continued. “That’s another great thing about Montana. Public service answers to public accountability. My message to all of you - to voters and to the media - is that accountability doesn’t end here. It begins here.”
“Tonight ends a historic election in Montana. It was the most expensive race for governor, ever. But I still believe that people – Montanans – and our ideas, our responsibility, and our accountability, are what governs us. Not millionaires, not big corporations, not special interests.
"It’s time to put the divisiveness behind us. Because this isn’t about Democrats or Republicans—it’s about Montanans and the values we share. This is Big Sky Country, the Treasure State, the Last Best Place. We have challenges and opportunities in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. And we’re going to face them head on.
“I will certainly do my part as your Lt. Governor for the next two months. And for the rest of my life as a Montanan. Thank you for your support. Thank you for entrusting me to serve this state that we all love. Thank you and good night.” Cooney concluded.
Previous coverage: Current Lt. Governor Mike Cooney says he is not ready to concede after the Associated Press reported that Republican Greg Gianforte had won the election for Governor.
The AP tweeted at 10:42 pm that Gianforte had won the election for Governor in Montana, and as of 11:17 pm, the Montana Secretary of State website is reporting only 123 precincts have fully reported.
Mike Cooney's campaign released the following statement in a release saying the AP prematurely declared Gianforte the victor:
“There are literally Montanans still in line voting and major counties including Butte Silver Bow, Cascade, Hill and all of Indian Country have yet to be counted,” said Cooney for Montana Campaign Manager Brad Elkins. “This race isn’t over and Mike Cooney is not conceding the election."