Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz is set to join Representative Matt Rosendale in the state next week for campaign events ahead of a potential Senate bid, as reported by national media outlets. The duo will participate in campaign activities in Bozeman, Townsend, and Helena on Friday and Saturday. Rosendale is considering challenging Democratic Senator Jon Tester, whom he previously lost to in 2018.
In the event of Rosendale’s candidacy, he would face competition from former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy in the Republican primary. Sheehy, recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), has been endorsed due to concerns about Rosendale’s 2018 loss to Tester. Early polling favored Rosendale in the primary, but recent November surveys showed Sheehy in the lead.
Rosendale has until March 11 to officially file his Senate candidacy, with the Republican primary scheduled for June 4. While there are reports that Rosendale is planning to launch a Senate campaign just before the filing deadline, his team insists that he has not yet made a final decision.
The Cook Political Report recently changed Tester’s seat from “Lean D” to “Toss Up,” aligning it with other competitive races in Ohio and Arizona. Tester, who has been in the Senate since 2007, faces vulnerability in public polls for the general election against both Republicans. Some surveys compiled by FiveThirtyEight suggest potential losses by several points to both Rosendale and Sheehy.
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