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Montana GOP lawmaker quickly drops Senate bid, citing Trump's endorsement of opponent

Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale files paperwork to run for U.S. Senate on Feb. 9 at the state Capitol in Helena, Mt. Rosendale announced Thursday, Feb. 15, that he was ending his campaign after former President Donald Trump endorsed his Republican opponent, former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy.
Matthew Brown
/
AP
Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale files paperwork to run for U.S. Senate on Feb. 9 at the state Capitol in Helena, Mt. Rosendale announced Thursday, Feb. 15, that he was ending his campaign after former President Donald Trump endorsed his Republican opponent, former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy.

Montana Republican Rep. 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 Democratic 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 had 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 would run for reelection in the U.S. House.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Shaylee Ragar
Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.