Rep. Matt Rosendale mulling bid for Montana US Senate seat - TAI News
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Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) is openly mulling a bid for U.S. Senate in Montana, a move that would pit him against the candidate national Republicans recruited for the race and create a competitive primary for a seat the GOP is looking to win in order to take the Senate majority.

Rosendale is likely to enter the race at the end of February or early March, just ahead of the deadline to enter the race, the Washington Examiner reported. If he runs, he’d face off in a primary against Tim Sheehy, a businessman whom the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to get Republicans elected to the Senate, recruited for the race and is backing in the contest to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

Rosendale is one of the most right-wing members of the House.

He was one of the eight Republicans who banded together to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the speakership in October 2023, throwing the House into chaos and paralyzing Congress for weeks until Republicans finally coalesced behind Rep. Mike Johnson as speaker. 

He opposes abortion rights, even though Montana voters rejected an anti-abortion ballot measure in 2022 that would have declared that embryos and fetuses are legal persons and would have made it a crime for doctors not to provide care in the rare case of an infant surviving an attempted abortion, a measure medical experts called overreach by the government. A poll conducted in February 2023 by the Democratic polling firm Searchlight Research found that six in 10 Montanans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Rosendale scored an A+ on a “pro-life scorecard” created by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. One of the bills Rosendale co-sponsored in the House would make it illegal to dispense abortion drugs through the mail or through telehealth appointments. Rosendale also signed on to an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, urging it to allow restrictions on abortion pill access nationwide to go into place. 

This would not be Rosendale’s first Senate bid. He was the nominee for the seat in 2018, but lost to Tester by nearly 4 points, even though former President Donald Trump had carried the state by 20 points two years earlier.  

Tester won, in part, by successfully branding Rosendale as “Maryland Matt,” as Rosendale made his money in Maryland real estate before purchasing a vacation home in Montana in 2002. 

National Republicans fear Rosendale’s entrance into the race will hurt their efforts to win back control of the Senate, Politico reported. Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who chairs the NRSC, endorsed Sheehy early and tried to convince Rosendale to stay out of the race.

“I really like Matt Rosendale, which is why I am encouraging him to build seniority for the great state of Montana in the House and help Republicans hold their majority,” Daines told Politico in June.

However, conservative Republicans are encouraging Rosendale to run, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). 

“Mitch McConnell’s with Sheehy. I prefer Rosendale. Who do you like in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Montana?” Lee tweeted on Wednesday. 

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