Democratic candidate for Congress Rob Quist today released his first quarter of 2017 fundraising total.
"Just yesterday we crested $1.3 million in contributions," Quist said at a campaign event in Great Falls this morning.
His campaign says he raised nearly a million dollars in March alone, via more than 22,000 individual contributions, with an average donation of $40 each.
Candidates aren't required to report campaign contributions for another month. (CORRECTION: 4/11/17 7:40 pm Candidates must file their first quarter 2017 contribution reports by April 15). The Quist campaign called on his Republican opponent Greg Gianforte to release his fundraising numbers early, too.
In the November governor's race, Democrats painted Gianforte as an outsider trying to buy the election. Quist is continuing that narrative, and portraying himself as a homegrown, grassroots candidate.
There's no evidence that the national Democratic party is spending on Quist's behalf, but groups affiliated with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are backing him.
A national Republican super-PAC has spent at least $700,000 on television ads for Gianforte.
The Quist campaign today hinted that they expect Bernie Sanders to make an appearance in Montana on Quist's behalf.