- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has been named the new chairman of the Western Governors’ Association.

Bullock previously was the group’s vice chair. He was elevated to the chairmanship Tuesday, the final day of the group’s meeting in Jackson, Wyoming.

The Montana Democrat succeeds Wyoming’s Republican governor, Matt Mead, in leading the association of governors from 19 Western states and three U.S. territories.

Bullock says his “chairman’s initiative” will be improving forest and rangeland management. His term with the association is one year, assuming he is re-elected as governor in November.

The association is dominated by Republicans but attempts to address regional issues through bipartisanship.

That bipartisanship was on display Tuesday when some Republican governors showered Bullock with praise. Mead, for example, said Bullock “embodies the bipartisan spirit of the Western Governors’ Association.”

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