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Williams becomes fourth Democrat in governor’s race

HELENA (AP) — A Missoula businesswoman and philanthropist has become the fourth Democrat to enter next year’s race for the open Montana governor’s seat. 

Whitney Williams announced her first run for political office Thursday with a video pledging to boost economic opportunities for all Montanans, protect public lands and bring down health care costs.

Williams is the daughter of former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams and former state legislator Carol Williams. She says she is continuing the tradition of a long line of grit-filled women in her family who beat expectations.

The 48-year-old Williams runs a business that helps companies, individuals and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pursue philanthropic projects and public advocacy.

She enters a Democratic primary field that also includes Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, Montana House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner and former state legislator Reilly Neill.

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