Steve Bullock’s issue was tribal sovereignty … now he’s gone

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is ending his 2020 presidential campaign #NativeVote20

The presidential candidate who paid the most attention to Indian Country is calling it quits.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock began his longshot campaign with a visit to the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in Iowa. It was not his only trip. He visited the community again in August for the powwow, each time talking about the importance of tribal sovereignty.

Bullock was the first presidential candidate to ever visit with the tribal news media in their studios. In that September interview with Indian Country Today, Bullock addressed a wide range of topics, such as his support improving relationships.

[RELATED: Video: Governor Steve Bullock calls for broader Native representation across government]

“Nation-to-nation consultation must occur,” Governor Bullock said. “if you’re not actually doing nation-to-nation consultation and saying we build this together, then you probably don’t fully understand or appreciate the importance of making sure a government-to-government consultation creates a path forward.”

Throughout his campaign, and on national television, Bullock brought up his track record working with the seven tribal nations of Montana. He won two elections as Democrat for governor despite it being in a Republican state. He also received endorsements from the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, a consortium of tribes throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

Bullock also spoke at the Frank LaMere Presidential Forum on Native issues— although by video link.

[ICYMI: Steve Bullock cites previous experience working with Indian Country]

In a statement released on Monday morning, the governor confirmed that he was ending his bid for the White House. A Bullock aide says he has no plans to run for U.S. Senate, though many had hoped he would.

“Today I am suspending my campaign to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for President,” Bullock said. “It has become clear in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates.”

As the 2020 Presidential campaign has progressed, candidates have used Twitter to share camaraderie amongst party lines. Shortly after news broke about the Bullock campaign, Democratic candidates Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

There are currently 16 candidates vying to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. The final debate of 2018 will happen on December 19 in Los Angeles, California. The first votes for the Democrats will be the Iowa caucus on February 3, 2020.

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Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is a reporter-producer at Indian Country Today's Phoenix Bureau. Follow her on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at achavez@indiancountrytoday.com



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