MATT GOURAS Associated Press Writer HELENA
Bozeman businessman Steve Daines will run for lieutenant governor on Roy Brown's gubernatorial ticket, the two Republicans said Tuesday. Daines declined last year to run for governor himself, but Brown has instead persuaded him to be his running mate. "We just kind of hit it off well together," Brown said. "We sat down and talked about it and decided we would make a great team, so we said, 'Let's do it.'" Brown is a state senator and former speaker of the House who late last year launched his campaign against incumbent Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Daines said he decided to be Brown's running mate because the two share the same vision and Brown has told him he would play an integral role in the administration. Daines also said running for governor would have taken too much time away from his four children. He said the demands of running on Brown's ticket won't be as great. "Roy has done a lot of the heavy lifting in this race already," Daines said. "This fits from a family viewpoint, and more importantly, we can really help Roy in this campaign." Daines said he will be with Brown on a multi-city tour today when the ticket is officially announced. The tour will run through Billings, Helena, Great Falls and Kalispell. Schweitzer, a Democrat, is running for a second term with Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, a Republican. Daines, an executive at Bozeman's RightNow Technologies, most recently led presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's Montana effort. Republicans speculated all last summer that Daines might run for governor after he started a group and a Web site demanding that lawmakers and Schweitzer return more of the budget surplus to taxpayers. Daines' group also ran advertisements attacking Schweitzer for making out-of-state political fundraising trips during the closing days of the Legislature. Daines said he respects Brown and plans to take a lead on economic and job growth issues if they win. "I think Roy has always been a good voice of reason in Helena, and always respected. And that's important to me," Daines said.