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Montana Democrat announces $1.3 million haul through crowdfunding for special House election

Congressional candidate Rob Quist meets with supporters. (Bobby Caina Calvan/AP)

Rob Quist, a folk singer and Bernie Sanders supporter running for Montana’s open House seat, announced Tuesday that he’d raised $1.3 million so far for his race — the latest example of liberal donors crowdfunding in the hopes of creating an upset.

According to Quist’s FEC filings, promoted to reporters by the campaign, the Democrat raised close to $1 million in March alone, made up of 22,333 individual contributions. The average donation was $40, boosted after Sanders’s group Our Revolution and the Daily Kos blog endorsed Quist.

“Rob wants Montanans to know who is funding his grass-roots campaign, and that’s why we’re releasing our FEC report ahead of the deadline,” Quist said spokeswoman Tina Olechowski. “We’re calling on Greg Gianforte to join us by releasing his donors to the public.”

Democrats have not won Montana’s sole House seat since 1996, and last year, then-Rep. Ryan Zinke easily won reelection while President Trump carried the state. But the state’s Democratic Party has continued to win other statewide offices, and the Montana race is seen by progressive activists as an even better target than Kansas’s Fourth District, which votes Tuesday. Montana’s election is on May 25.

Analysis: Why the GOP should be very worried about what’s happening in Kansas and Georgia