According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Senator Jon Tester, who represents Montana, received the majority of his re-election campaign funds in the first three months of this year from the traditionally liberal state of California.
Federal Election Commission records indicate that Senator Tester, garnered over $675,000 in the initial quarter of the year from contributors based in California. Of this amount, over $61,000 was donated following a fundraising event in Palo Alto on March 13, which was hosted by a partner from Silicon Valley Bank’s legal firm, coinciding with the bank’s noteworthy downfall.
Interestingly, Senator Tester’s campaign, which goes by the name “Montanans For Tester,” received almost a quarter of its itemized individual donations from California, surpassing every other state, including Montana.
Shelbi Dantic, campaign manager for Montanans For Tester, told The New York Post in a statement: “Jon is humbled to have grassroots support from Montanans across the state. Last quarter, 95% of his donors chipped in $100 or less.”
In February, the Senator, who is in his third term, declared his intention to run for a fourth term, presenting himself on his campaign website as a “third-generation Montana dirt farmer who carries his Montana values to the United States Senate.”
The Senate seat has become a crucial objective for Republicans, who aim to regain control of the upper chamber in 2024. Two of Montana’s Republican congressmen, Matt Rosendale and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, have publicly considered running against Senator Tester in what would be a challenging campaign. Additionally, Attorney General Austin Knudsen and former Navy seal turned businessman Tim Sheehy have also been mentioned as potential candidates.
Attendees paid anywhere from $250 to $6,600 to join the March Palo Alto gathering, while Tester’s hosts donated over $35,000 to his campaign during the event.
A significant number of hosts at the Palo Alto event reached the maximum donation limit, including Anne Avis, who previously served as a trustee for the foundation that supports NPR, and her spouse Greg Avis, co-founder of the venture capital firm Summit Partners.
Michael J. Danaher, a representative for SVB and venture capital clients at Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, a law firm located in Palo Alto, was one of the people who welcomed Tester to the gathering, along with other technology executives and donors.
According to disclosure forms, Tester also received $2,000 contributions from two donors, Matthew Tanielian and Joshua Ackil, who had previously lobbied for SVB earlier in the year.
Following the second-largest bank failure in the US history with SVB’s collapse, the Democratic National Committee and Biden’s 2020 campaign vowed to return tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions obtained from the bank and its executives. Tester’s campaign has not said if they will follow suit and return the SVB connected donations.
By: Big Sky Headlines staff