Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz will campaign alongside Montana GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale in the state next week ahead of his potential Senate bid, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The two will attend campaign events together in Bozeman, Townsend and Helena on Friday and Saturday as Rosendale continues to weigh a challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, according to the congressman’s team. Rosendale commended Gaetz for helping him “battle the uniparty” in Congress, telling the DCNF in an exclusive statement “it is an honor” that he’s campaigning with him in Montana.
“Matt Gaetz has been my reliable ally as we battle the uniparty in Washington,” Rosendale told the DCNF. “Whether it’s fighting out-of-control spending, securing our border, or restoring regular order to Congress, Matt Gaetz has always been with me in the fight for our nation. It is an honor to have him join me in the Treasure State next week.”
If Rosendale runs, he’ll have to face former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy in the Republican primary. Sheehy was recruited to run by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, which has cited Rosendale’s 2018 loss to Tester as their reasoning for not tapping the congressman.
“Matt Rosendale is among the most reliable and determined conservatives I’ve ever met at any level of government,” Gaetz told the DCNF in a statement. “The Swamp doesn’t want Rosendale because they know Tim Sheehy will be their pawn. Montana can defeat the corrupt big spenders and open borders politicians. I’ll be there to help, often.”
Early polling on the GOP primary suggested Rosendale would beat Sheehy overwhelmingly. However, two surveys released in November found the former Navy SEAL winning, with one poll being commissioned by a pro-Sheehy super PAC.
Rosendale has until March 11 to file his candidacy for the Senate, and the Republican primary will take place on June 4.
Rosendale has been telling colleagues that he plans on launching a Senate campaign just before the filing deadline, the Washington Examiner reported on Thursday, though his team insists he has yet to make a decision.
“Rep. Rosendale has not made a decision yet,” Aashka Varma, spokesperson for Rosendale, told the DCNF in a statement. “He is focused on serving the people of Montana and spent the week fighting to fund government in a transparent and responsible manner.”
The Cook Political Report recently switched Tester’s seat from the “Lean D” category to “Toss Up” alongside other contentious races in Ohio and Arizona. The senator has been serving in the upper chamber since 2007.
The few public polls for the general election against Tester indicate he is vulnerable against both Republicans, with some suggesting he’d lose by several points to Rosendale and Sheehy, according to FiveThirtyEight’s survey compilation. The most recent survey, conducted by Emerson College, found the Democrat winning against Sheehy by 4 points.
Sheehy’s campaign did not immediately responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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