One of the nation’s most closely-watched gubernatorial races is in Montana, where a Republican with New Jersey roots has maintained a single-digit lead in recent statewide polls.
Greg Gianforte, a two-term Montana congressman, lived in New Jersey while attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. Later, while working at Bell Labs in Holmdel, he lived in Beach Haven, Red Bank and Little Silver.
His brother, Michael, is a Brielle councilman and the executive director of the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority.
Another brother, Douglass, attended the University of Delaware. He graduated in the Class of 1984, along with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, although it’s not immediately clear if Christie knew him in college.
His wife, Susan, grew up in Little Silver. Gianforte’s parents were both from New Jersey: his father grew up in Newark and his mother in Pittstown.
Gianforte left New Jersey and moved to Montana in 1995, just a few years before New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy moved to Middletown.
Murphy, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, is backing Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney against Gianforte. The incumbent, Gov. Steve Bullock, is term-limited and is in a close race for U.S. Senate against Republican Steve Daines.
Democrats have held the Montana governorship for the last sixteen years.
Gianforte and his wife have each contributed $10,000 to the New Jersey Republican State Committee in the past as part of a joint fundraising agreement with the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The founder of a software company he sold to Oracle for $1.5 billion, Roll Calls says Gianforte is the second wealthiest member of the U.S. House of Representatives.