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It wasn’t my original intent to endorse a candidate for the Iowa Caucus this early. However, I couldn’t sit back any longer while the most viable candidate in a nation-wide election is kept off the debate stage and out of scrutiny of those who should consider Montana Governor Steve Bullock to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. President.

I’m supporting Gov. Bullock because of the bi-partisan success he has achieved as a Democratic governor in a red state. He’s brought Democrats and Republicans together to pass one of the strongest campaign finance disclosure laws in the country.

I believe two major issues need to be addressed in the country in order to move forward. That is the need to end the divisiveness between the political parties and to address dark money in our political campaigns, in our state capitols and in our nation’s capitol. Steve Bullock was able to work through both of those issues as Governor of Montana by leading the way to ban foreign money from elections in that state.

Gov. Bullock has also been able to show the same success with other issues in Montana such as reauthorizing Medicaid expansion, investing in infrastructure, freezing college tuition and increasing investment in K-12 schools. Gov. Bullock was able to do that while working with a legislature that is heavily made up of the party opposite of him.

That is what makes Steve Bullock electable across the country. He knows how to work across the aisle to get results for those who elected him.

In this Caucus, the country is watching for our leadership to set the right candidate on the course to success — and it’s never been more important that we choose correctly. I believe Steve Bullock is qualified, capable and has the character to lead this country. That’s why Gov. Bullock has my support.

Eric Van Lancker, Clinton County Auditor