Stapleton announces Bob Keenan as running mate in Republican race for Montana Governor

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Corey Stapleton with running mate Bob Keenan (left)

Another Republican Candidate for Governor has announced his running mate. Former State Senator Corey Stapleton is choosing former State Senate President Bob Keenan as his candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Keenan was last on the political scene with a failed primary challenge to former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns in 2006. Stapleton said Keenan brings the experience of being both a successful small businessman and a respected conservative legislator.

He said Keenan will be a valuable partner in his quest to expand the private sector of the economy while restraining government growth.

“We would like to leave, this town at the end of our term with approximately the same number of state employees that we have now,” Stapleton said. “We wouldn’t lay a single person off, it would mean that we would need to invest in training to help people make transitions if that’s what the people or the legislature directed us to do.”

Stapleton trails Republican frontrunner Rick Hill in fundraising, but said he has a larger following on Facebook. Keenan said he’s standing behind Stapleton because he’s the most electable Republican candidate.

“It doesn’t matter what happens throughout the primary, but Corey Stapleton has the pedigree, he has the training, he has the leadership, the experience to be the Governor of the state of Montana and to lead us into the future,” Keenan said.

Chouteau County Commissioner Jim O’Hara has also announced his running mate– former Montana Highway Patrol trooper Scott Swingley of Helena. Both are newcomers to statewide politics.

That means 5 of the 7 remaining Republican candidates have their Lieutenant Governor’s picked out.

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Steve Bullock has not announced his running mate.

Primary elections will be held June 5th.

(The Associated Press Contributed to this article)

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