HELENA, Mont. — House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner announced Tuesday he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Montana governor.

He said he wants to give everyday families like his a chance to get ahead by working to reduce the cost of health care, invest in education, protect public lands and work to create good-paying jobs.

He has served four terms and was minority leader during the last session when Democrats met their goals of continuing Medicaid expansion, passing a firefighter protection bill and the first major infrastructure package in more than a decade.

A former science teacher and a work-based learning director for the Department of Labor and Industry, Schreiner may have a disadvantage when it comes to statewide name recognition, but said he intends to change that.

Schreiner and his wife have three sons ages 5, 3 and 1, and two are on the autism spectrum, he said.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a better advocate for families like myself,” he said, noting they’ve dealt with health care bills, repaying student loans and having kids in preschool.

Schreiner, of Great Falls, joins former state Rep. Reilly Neill of Livingston, who announced Monday she is seeking the Democratic nomination. Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney also is considering running.

“Whichever candidate comes out, we’re going to be unified behind who the nominee is,” Schreiner said.

Six Republican candidates and a Libertarian are also running.

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