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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Tester Trumpets Support From Longtime Republicans

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

Senator Jon Tester today had three Montana men who say they’ve long supported the Republican Party on a conference call with journalists, to say that this year, they’re supporting the Democratic senator in his re-election campaign.

“He’s looking out for the little person, and the Republican Party’s stopped doing that,” Mick Ringsak said.

Ringsak of Butte says he’s been active in Republican politics since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign, through those of Conrad Burns, who Tester defeated in 2006, and was appointed to the Small Business Administration by the George Bush administration. Ringsak says he voted for President Trump in 2016, but that he’s not supporting Tester’s Republican challenger, State Auditor Matt Rosendale.

“The Republican Party’s lost its way, and it’s not the party of small business that it was, or independents, it’s the part of corporations, and of course the Democrats are leaning that way, too, and Jon understands what’s going on,” Ringsak said.

Tester is promoting Republican support ahead of President Trump’s second scheduled visit to Montana in two months. The President is holding a rally at MetraPark in Billings Thursday to support Rosendale’s Senate campaign.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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