EXCLUSIVE: Matt Rosendale Announces $1.7 Million In Campaign Cash As He Weighs Senate Bid

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Mary Lou Masters Contributor
Font Size:

Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale has $1.7 million in the bank ahead of a potential Senate run to oust Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2024, his team first shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Rosendale, a House Freedom Caucus member, will report $1.7 million cash on hand for the third fundraising quarter, where he raised $334,700 in campaign contributions, the DCNF has learned. If Rosendale runs for Senate, he’ll face former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy in the GOP primary, whose campaign said in a Tuesday press release has $1.1 million in hard dollars after raising over $2.8 million during his first fundraising quarter as a candidate, with roughly $650,000 being personal contributions and loans.

“Once again, Rep. Rosendale shows that he is the strongest candidate to beat Jon Tester,” Aashka Varma, spokesperson for Rosendale, told the DCNF. “Despite Mitch McConnell and the D.C. Cartel going out of their way to raise money for Mr. Sheehy, he was still forced to loan his campaign $600k so he could have a little over a million dollars on hand.” (RELATED: Top Montana State Republican Lawmakers Break From National GOP, Reveal Their Senate Pick)

Sheehy has the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which has pointed to Rosendale’s 2018 loss to Tester by 3.5 points as its reasoning for opting not to recruit the congressman for the seat.

“$334,700 is an embarrassing fundraising quarter for someone who has been a career politician for as long as Matt Rosendale. Even without his personal investment, Tim Sheehy outraised Matt Rosendale over 6-1, so that is frankly a bizarre critique,” a Republican strategist who works on Senate races told the DCNF in a statement.

Along with Montana elected officials like NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, Gov. Greg Gianforte and Rep. Ryan Zinke, numerous national Republicans have also come out in support of Sheehy, a businessman who founded an aerial firefighting company after serving in Afghanistan.

“Thanks to the outpouring of support from grassroots conservatives, we’re in a strong position to win and finally beat Jon Tester in 2024,” Sheehy said in a statement alongside his fundraising numbers.

Tester’s reelection campaign announced it raised more than $5 million during the third fundraising quarter, and now has over $13 million cash on hand, according to a press release obtained by the DCNF.

Though Rosendale continues to weigh a Senate bid, several polls suggest his candidacy would have good odds against both Sheehy in the Republican primary and Tester in the general.

A late August J.L. Partners survey indicated Rosendale is leading Sheehy by 31 points in the primary, with both beating Tester by several points. Rosendale led Sheehy 64% to 10% for the GOP nomination in a late June survey conducted by liberal firm Public Policy Polling, and an early March OnMessage Inc. poll suggested the congressman would beat Tester by 5 points.

Tester’s seat, which he has held since 2006, is characterized by The Cook Political Report as in the “Lean D” column for 2024. Senate races in Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are also characterized as such.

Sheehy did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.