Rosendale Exits Montana Senate Race

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) exited the race for U.S. Senate just one week after announcing his candidacy. The representative’s departure came after former President Donald Trump endorsed his opponent, Tim Sheehy.

Rosendale made the announcement Thursday after failing to secure the support of Trump and other prominent Republicans. Sheehy is a former Navy SEAL.

On Truth Social, Trump wrote that Sheehy is “an American Hero and highly successful Businessman.” he further wrote that Sheehy is the “candidate who is currently best-positioned to DEFEAT Lazy Jon Tester.”

The former president wrote that Sheehy is a “Political Outsider, Strong on the Border, the Military/Vets and our constantly under siege Second Amendment.”

“Tim Sheehy has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” the former president wrote.

Trump would later post on social media that Rosendale’s poll numbers were falling significantly. The former president also cited the large advantage Sheehy had in fundraising, with the candidate raising almost $2.5 million in the last quarter of 2024, as compared to under $100,000 for Rosendale.

Republicans are hoping to pick up the seat currently held by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who was first elected in 2006. Rosendale was Tester’s 2018 opponent and came within 4% of defeating the three-term Democrat. Despite Tester’s three electoral victories, two of the three came with less than 50% of the vote. Tester’s 2018 victory against Rosendale saw the Democrat receive just over half of the ballots.

Republicans are hoping to use momentum from Trump likely being at the top of the GOP ticket in November to secure a victory. The former president defeated President Joe Biden in the state by more than 16% in 2020. Four years prior, Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by more than 20%.

Rosendale has served as in the House representing Montana since 2021, at first as the state’s only representative and since 2023 on behalf of its 2nd District. He won a significant victory over both an independent and Democratic candidate, winning by almost 25%.