Tester puts reelection on the line with risky shutdown vote

Every Democratic senator from a Republican-leaning state voted Monday to reopen the government, from the liberal Sherrod Brown of Ohio to the conservative Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Every one, that is, except Jon Tester.

Republicans are determined to make him pay.

The plainspoken Montanan was on a glide path to a third term despite the conservative tilt of his state — among the safest of red-state Democratic incumbents on the November ballot. Everything broke his way: First, President Donald Trump plucked former Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) for his Cabinet. Then, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) body-slammed a reporter shortly before he was elected to replace Zinke. And, finally, Republican state Attorney General Tim Fox passed on a bid. Those were Tester’s three most formidable potential challengers.