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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Rosendale ends his bid for the U.S. Senate shortly after launching campaign

Matt Rosendale.
Rosendale campaign
Matt Rosendale

Montana Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale has ended his bid for the U.S. Senate less than a week after he officially launched his campaign.

First reported by Politico, Rosendale announced the decision Thursday, citing former President Donald Trump's endorsement of his GOP primary opponent, Tim Sheehy. Sheehy, a Bozeman businessman and veteran, is also backed by Montana U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, who's spearheading efforts to flip the U.S. Senate.

Rosendale said in a statement he lacks resources and that “the hill was just too steep to climb.”

The seat in question is held by incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. Montana Democratic Party Chair Sheila Hogan said in a statement that Rosendale was right to challenge Sheehy, saying he's wrong for the job. The party remains confident Tester will prevail.

Sheehy wrote in a post on social media that Montana is grateful for Rosendale's service and that in working together, they can defeat Tester. Whoever wins the seat could determine control of the Senate.

Rosendale has been hinting at a run for the seat for months, despite mounting pressure from Republican leaders asking him to stay out of the race.

The filing deadline for all political offices in Montana is March 11. Rosendale did not say whether he'll run for reelection in the U.S. House.

Shaylee covers state government and politics for Montana Public Radio. Please share tips, questions and concerns at 406-539-1677 or  
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