Who is Steve Bullock? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate

 

Editor's note: This story is part of PolitiFact’s ongoing coverage of the 2020 campaign; these reports will be updated as the campaign continues. For more candidate profiles and fact-checking, go to www.politifact.com/2020/

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the only Democratic candidate to have won a Trump state.

With an approval rating of 66%, Bullock was ranked the most popular Democratic governor in 2016. When it came time for the 2016 election, he and only one other Democrat in Montana won statewide offices – when Trump won by more than 20 points.

He touts some of his accomplishments as expanding Medicaid and becoming the first governor in the country to sign an executive order to enforce compliance with net neutrality principles.

Born and raised in Montana, Bullock launched his career in public service in 1996. After an unsuccessful bid for attorney general in 2000, he joined a law firm in Washington, D.C., and became an adjunct law professor.

Bullock eventually returned to his home state and started his own law firm. He was instrumental in securing the passage of a 2006 ballot measure to increase the state’s minimum wage and to establish automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Bouncing back from the loss eight years prior, Bullock was elected as Montana’s attorney general in 2008. This is where Bullock’s record of garnering bipartisan support for his initiatives begins – the Republican state legislature passed legislation like a 24/7 Sobriety Program and a Children’s Justice Center.

Since he was attorney general, Bullock has made controversial attempts to crack down on dark money. He has gone as far as defending a law deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and suing the Trump administration. As governor, he has signed a bill for dark money groups to disclose spending in state elections and an executive order to require state contractors to release dark money contributions.

During his presidential campaign, Bullock emphasized the decline of the American dream by noting how a lower percentage of 30-year-olds are doing better than their parents today than when he was being raised.

Name: Steve Bullock

Current occupation: Governor of Montana

Party: Democrat

Federal offices: None

Key bills passed: Campaign disclosure bill, 2015; Earned Income Tax Credit, 2017; Pre-K pilot program, 2017; Medicaid expansion bill, 2019; $400 million infrastructure bills, 2019.

State and local offices: Chief legal counsel to Montana Secretary of State, 1996-97; Montana Department of Justice: executive assistant attorney general and acting chief deputy,  1997-2001; attorney general of Montana, 2009-13; governor of Montana, 2013 to present.

Private sector work: Steptoe & Johnson, 2001-04; adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, 2001-04; Started own law firm in 2005.

Military: None

Books authored/co-authored: None

Education: BA Claremont McKenna College, 1988; JD Columbia Law School, 1994.

Birth date: April 11, 1966

Personal life: Married to Lisa Downs since 1999; three children.

Religion: Catholic

Top issues: Campaign finance, internet freedom, Medicaid, pharmaceutical companies, infrastructure.

Endorsements: Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Montana Sen. Jon Tester

Major donors: FEC has yet to authorize Bullock as a presidential candidate.

Miscellaneous: When Montana’s gubernatorial seat opened, Bullock’s fourth-grade dream of becoming governor came true.

Other coverage: PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter; Business Insider, Steve Bullock is running for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition,May 31, 2019; Center for Public Integrity, 9 things to know about Steve Bullock, May 14, 2019; Vox, Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana, is running for president, May 14, 2019

Campaign website: https://stevebullock.com

This report will be updated as the campaign continues.