HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana superintendent of schools Denise Juneau says she is committed to a school system "free of bullying, prejudice, or hate."

 The statement from the Democrat running for U.S. Congress comes in the wake of news reports focusing on her sexual orientation.

Juneau's sexuality became public fodder when she introduced her female partner to a crowd assembled for a Democratic fundraiser in Bozeman on Saturday.

MTN News first reported on Juneau's sexual orientation.

Juneau is the first Native American to hold statewide office in Montana and the first openly lesbian candidate to seek Montana's congressional seat.

The Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports LGBT candidates, says Juneau is one of at least 25 openly gay or lesbian candidates running for Congress.