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Brad Johnson

Montana Public Service Commissioner Brad Johnson

HELENA — Public Service Commission chairman Brad Johnson said Wednesday he's dropping out of the governor's race.

Johnson said he would need to be a full-time candidate to win the Republican nomination over Bozeman businessman Greg Gianforte. Johnson said he is not willing to compromise his commitment to the PSC to do so.

Johnson's announcement leaves Gianforte and Mark Perea of Helena as the only Republicans seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

The candidate filing period ends March 14.

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Last week, after Gianforte formally announced his entry into the race, Johnson estimated he would need between $200,000 and $300,000 to win the Republican nomination. He had raised just over $1,500 by the end of December.

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