Whitney Williams, who can be seen galavanting in tabloid magazines with celebrities like Bill Clinton and Ben Affleck at swanky fundraisers, has been raising funds for her gubernatorial bid from mostly special interest groups outside Montana. Her Republican challengers are raising cash mostly from inside Montana. The contrast in fundraising could not be in starker contrast.
According to reports, Williams’ opponents running on the Republican ticket – Greg Gianforte, Al Olszewski, and Tim Fox – are enjoying good local Montana financial support for their campaigns.
Greg Gianforte has raised 1.43 million so far in his campaign for Montana governor, with 1.07 million coming from within the state. That’s impressive for a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives with connections to Washington – which is 73% of his funds. Tim Fox has raised $566k, with 83% of that money coming from inside Montana. Olszewski has also raised most of his cash from inside Montana, although a large portion was provided by himself.
In contrast, financial disclosures show that Democrat candidate, Whitney Williams, has raised $439k in the first quarter of 2020. However, only a quarter of her money comes from Montanans.
The Williams campaign will be quick to point out that 60% of her donors are Montanans (a number that is still far behind her Republican challengers), but that is only because the outside-Montana special interest groups are giving far larger donations than the average Montanan. If considered in overall dollars, Williams is only 25% supported within the Big Sky State.
Elle Magazine says of Williams, “Around Hollywood, the word on Williams is that she’s a nonprofit warrior, a political animal in heels. She’s traveled overseas with Bill and Melinda Gates, consulted on Damon’s Water.org (Williams and Damon first met on a tarmac in Tanzania), and worked for Hillary Clinton during her time as first lady. And for 10 years, Williams has run Seattle-based consulting firm williamsworks, helping brands and boldface names harness their fame, cash, and influence to do serious good—including, in 2006, memorably executing a nine-day, seven-country tour of Africa for Bono and Bobby Shriver.”
It seems that Williams has no shortage of Hollywood pals to call upon for donations.
For conservatives, the threat that Williams’ real running mate is a dark-money special interest group is very real. Should she be elected governor, the concern exists that it will be outside donors who put her there.