Gianforte, currently a representative for Montana’s at-large House district, won 54% of the vote in the November election, and he won with the largest margin for a non-incumbent governor since 1920, according to KULR8. According to state data, Gianforte received more votes than any candidate for governor in Montana history.
Republicans gained control of every statewide office after the November election and hold majorities in the Montana House of Representatives and Senate.
Gianforte will face the immediate challenge of tackling Montana’s COVID-19 response. He has signaled a willingness to reverse outgoing Governor Bullock’s mask mandate, but in an interview, said he would be wearing a mask to set an example for Montanans.
“I trust Montanans with their health and the health of their loved ones,” Gianforte told KHN. “The state has a role in clearly communicating the risks of who is most vulnerable, what the potential consequences are, but then I do trust Montanans to make the right decisions for themselves and their family.”