Greater Montana Foundation and Montana Broadcasters Association to Co-sponsor Debates for Gubernatorial Candidates
April 29, 2020
Ron Davis, Chair, Greater Montana Foundation and Greg Pace, Chair, Montana Broadcasters Association, announced today that the two groups will hold debates for the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor, on Saturday, May 2. There will be two 60 minutes debates, one for each party.
Originally scheduled to take place at the MTN Studios in Great Falls, they will now take place virtually, with all participants in separate locations around the state. Broadcasts will not be live, local stations will need to be checked for dates and times. Stations have been requested to not broadcast earlier than 6:00 pm that evening. Greater Montana Foundation is providing funding for the debates.
Davis and Pace said, “We are pleased to jointly sponsor these important debates, which are even more significant at this time, since candidates are not able to get out around the state meeting Montana voters. While keeping all safe, we will provide a real service to the Montana public by allowing candidates to showcase their backgrounds, policies and programs.
Those participating are Democratic candidates Lt. Governor Mike Cooney and businesswomen Whitney Williams, and Republican candidates, US Representative Greg Gianforte, Attorney General Tim Fox and Montana State Senator Al Olszewski.
Ron Davis, GMF Board Chair and President of Butte Broadcasting will serve as moderator. Panelists are Mike Dennison, Montana Television Network; Cyndny Koures, NBC Montana; and Taylor Tucker, Cowles Media. Questions will not be available in advance nor solicited from the public. Panelists will decide on the questions.
Mike Dennison, the chief political reporter for the Montana Television Network, based in Helena. He has been covering politics full-time in Montana for 28 years, with MTN, and earlier as a news reporter.
Cyndny Koures is Assistant News Director at NBC Montana. A 5th generation Montanan, she earlier spent most of her career in Spokane, in a variety of positions with KXLY TV and AM, garnering a number of awards.
Taylor Tucker is an award-winning anchor, reporter and producer at KFBB in Great Falls, Montana. Before moving from Wisconsin to Montana in 2015, she worked as an intern at the Center for Investigative Journalism and in other positions. She covers everyday issues for Montanans.
Davis and Pace encouraged all Montanans to take advantage of this opportunity to safely view debates among the candidates of both parties.
In conclusion, Davis noted the Greater Montana Foundation and the Montana Broadcasters Association have a longtime relationship, partnering on the annual “EB” awards for excellence in broadcasting, named for GMF founder Edmund B. Craney, as well as on candidates’ debates at the MBA annual meeting. A pioneer broadcaster, Craney established the foundation in 1958 with an initial focus on improving commercial broadcasting in the state. That focus has expanded to include a mission of “encouraging communications, with an emphasis on electronic media, on issues, trends and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans, ” with grants awarded to the University o of Montana Radio and TV school, Montana PBS, Montana NPR and a wide variety of documentaries, films, broadcasts and podcasts.