Tim Sheehy Wins Montana Republican Senate Primary


Former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy triumphed in the Montana Senate GOP primary on Tuesday and will compete against Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in the high-stakes general election that may influence the control of the Senate.

The Associated Press declared Sheehy the victor at 8:37 p.m. Mountain time, just 37 minutes after polls closed. With approximately 27% of the votes counted, Sheehy held a commanding lead, garnering nearly 76% of the vote.

Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Sheehy defeated former Montana Public Service Commissioner Brad Johnson and previous congressional contender Charles Walking Child. Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-MT) withdrawal from the race in February after six days paved the way for Sheehy.

FILE – Senate candidate Tim Sheehy discusses his campaign, Feb. 9, 2024, in Helena, Montana. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Republicans view Montana as crucial for gaining a Senate majority, hoping to oust Tester, who is basing his campaign for a fourth term on distinguishing himself from President Joe Biden.

“The clearest path to a Republican Senate majority runs through Montana,” stated Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), chair of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm. “Tim Sheehy will deliver a Senate majority for President Trump, Jon Tester wants to deliver a Senate majority for Joe Biden. That is the choice in this election.”

Tester easily secured victory against Democratic challenger Michael Hummert, who has yet to file any campaign finance reports and appeared to lack an active campaign budget.

Democrats must win in Montana and maintain control over several other key Senate battleground states to preserve their majority.

Tester has increasingly distanced himself from Biden, aiming to attract Republican voters in a state where Trump won by over 16 points in 2020.

Following Sheehy’s victory, Tester’s campaign issued a fundraising appeal, and the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm released an attack ad against Sheehy, which you can watch below.

In a strategic memo, Tester’s Campaign Manager Shelbi Dantic contrasted the race as a choice between a “third-generation dirt farmer who deeply understands Montana’s way of life and will relentlessly defend it, and Tim Sheehy, an out-of-state multimillionaire who’s running to benefit himself and can’t be trusted to protect Montana.”

Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry is a Capitol Hill Reporter focusing on energy and environment. Previously, Ramsey covered Congress for Newsweek and was a multimedia reporter at a local NPR and PBS affiliate in Florida. A native of the Sunshine State, Ramsey graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast and digital journalism.

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