Rep. Matt Rosendale Launches Senate Bid, Setting Stage For Ugly GOP Primary | EUROtoday

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Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) on Friday formally launched his bid for the U.S. Senate, giving Republican voters in Montana a second millionaire transplant to select from within the upcoming June main.

Rosendale, a hard-right conservative, will face GOP hopeful Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL and rich businessmanfor the chance to tackle incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November. Tester, who has held the seat since 2007, is broadly thought-about some of the weak Democrats up for reelection.

In a video announcementRosendale mentioned that he’s operating “against the Washington establishment, against [President] Joe Biden and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell.” And he touted his loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

Rosendale, who unsuccessfully ran in opposition to Tester in 2018, has been hinting at a second problem for months. In a video posted to social media in December, he mentioned that he was “heavily considering” operating and slammed McConnell and different Senate Republicans for “propping up” Sheehy and attempting to maintain him out of the race.

“While it is truly an honor and privilege to represent the people of eastern Montana in Congress, it is difficult for me to stand by and allow Mitch McConnell and the uniparty to sell our country short and attempt to select our next senator,” he mentioned.

Rosendale’s entry into the race units the stage for a bitter and costly main.

Sheehy has the endorsement of a number of Republican leaders in Washington and at house, together with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who chairs the highly effective National Republican Senatorial Committee, in addition to Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.). Rosendale has touted help amongst state lawmakers in Montana, together with Speaker of the Montana House Matt Regier (R).

This week supplied a glimpse into how contentious the first will doubtless be. Punchbowl News reported early Thursday that U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) deliberate to endorse Rosendale within the race. But Johnson reversed course inside hours, reportedly after blowback from high-profile Republicans. A spokesperson for Johnson later instructed CNN that the speaker would donate to however not endorse Rosendale’s marketing campaign.

Zinke, who not way back was anticipated to additionally make a run for Tester’s seat, instructed Politico on Thursday that “upon reflection, the Speaker withdrew his endorsement largely based on the reality that Rosendale is the weaker candidate by far against Tester.”

Rosendale took to Xpreviously Twitter, on Thursday to thank Johnson for his continued help, however on the time stopped wanting confirming his Senate candidacy.

“Mitch McConnell and the D.C. Cartel are TERRIFIED about me going to the U.S. Senate,” he wrote. “They know they can’t control me; they know I won’t vote for McConnell as Leader. But they are fixin’ to find out that in Montana, we don’t take orders from Washington; we send orders to Washington!”

Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL and the founder of an aerial firefighting company based in Montana, announced his Republican campaign for the U.S. Senate last year.
Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL and the founding father of an aerial firefighting firm primarily based in Montana, introduced his Republican marketing campaign for the U.S. Senate final yr.

Originally from Maryland, Rosendale is a loyal ally of Trump and a member of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. He was among the many 147 members of Congress who voted to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election, and final yr joined seven different House Republicans in voting to oust then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Rosendale has a historical past of mingling with far-right extremists. In 2014, he spoke at a pro-gun Oath Keepers rally in Kalispell, Montana. And final yr, he made nationwide headlines when he posed for {a photograph} outdoors the U.S. Capitol alongside two well-known white supremacists.

Sheehy is new to politics, doubtless courted to run due to his army and enterprise acumen and his means to self-finance his marketing campaign. A Minnesota native, Sheehy moved to Montana in 2014 after retiring from the Navy. He is the founding father of Bridger Aerospace, a Bozeman-based aerial firefighting firm that depends virtually completely on federal contracts. While the corporate has pitched itself as a frontrunner within the battle in opposition to local weather changeSheehy has toed the celebration line on local weather whereas on the marketing campaign path, railing in opposition to what he calls the “climate cult.”

Sheehy’s earlier help for addressing local weather change will likely be simple fodder for Rosendale as the first heats up.

In his December video, Rosendale attacked Sheehy for having “profited off of Biden’s Green New Deal,” an obvious reference to Bridger Aerospace’s reliance on federal contracts.

Rosendale and Sheehy have each endorsed Trump for president in 2024. Trump, who backed Rosendale in 2018 when he ran for Senate and once more in 2022 when he was reelected to the House, has not but endorsed both Rosendale or Sheehy within the upcoming election. CNN reported in July that Trump instructed Rosendale he wouldn’t obtain his endorsement if he entered the Senate race.

Asked about Johnson backpedaling on endorsing Rosendale, Tester, a farmer and lifelong Montana resident, instructed Politico that it finally “doesn’t really matter.”

“It’s the same race either way,” Tester mentioned. “I get to run against an out-of-stater that Mitch McConnell picked or an out-of-stater that Mitch McConnell doesn’t like.”

Montana Democrats had an analogous response to information of a Rosendale-Sheehy main battle.

“Buckle up for the battle of the out-of-staters, because Mitch McConnell and the NRSC’s greatest nightmare in Montana came true,” mentioned Hannah Rehm, a senior communications adviser for the Montana Democratic Party, referring to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Over the coming months, Montanans are going to see how out of touch Maryland Matt and Transplant Tim are with our state.”