GOP Rep. Withdraws From Senate Race

( – Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) enthusiastically announced his intention to run for Senate on February 9. Not even a week later, he shared that he was backing out of the race. He cited former President Donald Trump’s support for a different Republican contender as the reason behind his quick departure.

Rosendale made both announcements on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. In his initial statement, he said he was running to fight the establishment — which he stated includes President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Montana representative cited the three years he’s spent in Congress, noting that he has always put Montanans and his country first, voting along with former President Trump’s wishes “every single time.” He even voted against electors on January 6, 2021, in an effort to help the MAGA leader retain power.

That same loyalty is behind Rosendale’s decision to drop his bid. A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, the Montana representative shared that he remains supportive of Trump, adding that the former president’s support for someone else would make his fight too steep. He said that he had spoken with Montana Sen. Steve Gaines (R), who also felt the right decision was to allow Trump’s choice, Tim Sheehy, to take the Republican primary. They agreed it would be their best shot at unseating Democratic rival, Sen. Jon Tester, who will be running for his fourth term in November. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines also support the first-time candidate’s bid.

The New York Post describes Sheehy as a businessman who previously served his country as a Navy SEAL. Trump believes he’s “best positioned” to flip the seat. The former president also spoke kindly of Rosendale, noting he endorsed the representative in the past and would endorse him again if he decided to defend his position in the House.

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