Conservative Tim Sheehy launches Senate bid for Tester's seat


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Conservative businessman Tim Sheehy launched a Republican primary bid for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, hoping to challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in what is expected to be one of the toughest Senate races in 2024.

The Montana Senate seat is critical to Republican efforts to capture the Senate majority. 

Undated: Tim Sheehy, 2024 Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Montana.

Sheehy campaign website

In a minute-long video posted on Twitter, Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL, talked about serving in Afghanistan before moving to Montana with his wife to start an aerospace company. 

“Whether it’s at war or business, I see problems and solve them,” Sheehy said in the video. “America needs conservative leaders who love our country, and that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate.” 

Sheehy is running in a state that is reliably conservative in presidential races. In 2020, President Donald Trump won Montana by 16 points over President Joe Biden. That same year, incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines fended off a challenge from then-Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, in his reelection bid, winning  by 10 points. However, Cook Political Report currently rates the 2024 Montana Senate race as Lean Democrat. 

“Tim Sheehy is a decorated veteran, successful businessman, and a great Montanan,” Daines, who now serves as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement. “I could not be happier that he decided to enter the Montana Senate race.” 

While the Republican Senate campaign arm has signaled early support for Sheehy, he could be one of several candidates to compete in the Republican primary. Rep. Matt Rosendale, a close ally of former President Trump and Freedom Caucus member, is also expected to jump in the race – setting off what could be a brutal primary. 

Rosendale lost his own Senate bid to Tester in 2018, but on Tuesday, he took aim at a potential Sheehy-Tester matchup, tweeting, “Congratulations to Mitch McConnell and the party bosses on getting their chosen candidate. Now Washington has two candidates — Tim Sheehy and Jon Tester — who will protect the DC cartel.” He went on to say that Montanans don’t take orders from Washington, and he believes they’ll reject the “McConnell-Biden Establishment.”

Tester announced his reelection bid for a fourth term in February. Democrats have touted his track record of bipartisan legislation in Washington as well as his deep ties to Montana as a third-generation farmer.

“Jon Tester has farm equipment that’s been in Montana longer than Tim Sheehy,” scoffed Montana Democratic Party spokeswoman Monica Robinson in a statement. “The last thing Montanans want in a senator is an out-of-state transplant recruited by Mitch McConnell and DC lobbyists. The tough questions Tim Sheehy is facing are just beginning.”

Democrats currently hold a one seat majority in the U.S. Senate – but the 2024 Senate map appears to be more favorable for Republicans, who lost their majority in 2018.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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