Matt Rosendale Drops Out Of Senate Race Just Days After Entering

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale withdrew from the Senate race on Thursday just days after launching his bid for Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s seat, the Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed.

The congressman jumped in the race on Friday after months of teasing a campaign, and took aim at his then-primary opponent Tim Sheehy, who was recruited to run by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Former President Donald Trump quickly endorsed Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL, just hours after Rosendale’s launch, leading him to suspend his short-lived campaign.

“As everyone knows, I have planned to run for the US Senate and to win both the primary and the general election.  However, the day I announced, President Trump then announced that he was endorsing a different candidate,” Rosendale told the DCNF in a statement. “I have long been a supporter of the President, and remain so.  But I have been forced to calculate what my chances of success would be with Trump supporting my opponent.”

“This race was already going to be tough, as I was fighting against Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican establishment in Washington.  But I felt like I could beat them, as the voters do not agree with them choosing who would be the next U.S. Senator from Montana,” Rosendale added. (RELATED: Trump Wades Into Bitter Republican Primary With Senate Endorsement)

Rosendale ran against Tester in 2018, but lost to the senator by 3.5 points. The NRSC has cited this loss as the reason why it did not recruit the congressman to run.

“However, by my calculations, with Trump endorsing my opponent and the lack of resources, the hill was just too steep,” said Rosendale. “I spoke with Sen. Daines earlier this week and we both agree that this is the best path forward for Republicans to regain the majority in the U.S. Senate.”

The congressman has yet to decide whether he’ll seek another term in the lower chamber, and said he’ll return home to Montana to “prayerfully consider what is next.”

The Cook Political Report characterizes Tester’s seat as in the “Toss Up” category alongside other contentious races in Arizona and Ohio.

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