Republican Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale refused to rule out a second run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in a Tuesday interview.
Rosendale ran against Tester during the 2018 election, losing by 3.5 points. A former state auditor who served in both chambers of the state legislature, Rosendale was elected to Montana’s at-large House seat in 2020. Both Rosendale and Rep. Ryan Zinke are considering challenging Tester in 2024.
“Jon Tester does not represent the people of Montana, and has not done so for many years,” he told the Daily Caller. “He has fallen into the swamp trap and he must be replaced in ’24. I think that the people of Montana are going to take the next twelve months or so and decide which Republican that they want to represent them and replace Jon Tester.”
“I’m going to leave it up to the people of Montana,” Rosendale added. (RELATED: Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale Dramatically Trolls McCarthy On Floor During Vote)
Tester is one of three Democratic senators defending seats in states that Donald Trump won by at least ten points in 2020. Republicans will also seek to knock off West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. Tester has nearly $2.9 million on hand, while Rosendale has $1.2 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
If Rosendale does seek to dethrone Tester, he will be able to rely on support from the Club for Growth. The free market organization’s campaign arm, Club for Growth Action, spent $2.6 million in 2018 in support of Rosendale and will do so again, Club president David McIntosh told reporters Monday.
“If he decides to run, we’d want to support him again, because we know his record. We like what he did in terms of the whole speaker selection process, which I think in the end, Kevin [McCarthy’s] going to look at this and say, ‘you guys helped me be a good speaker.’ I know he didn’t like it at the time, but he was able to unite the whole caucus and have conservatives like me tell him he’s doing a great job,” McIntosh said.
Rosendale was one of six House Republicans who refused to support McCarthy in the longest speaker ballot series since 1859. He ultimately voted present on the last ballot.