“Winning back the West, and winning back the Senate, starts and ends with Tim Sheehy,” Barrasso said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner. “Tim Sheehy is ‘The Man in the Arena’. He is who you want on your side fighting for border, economic and energy security. Meanwhile, Jon Tester is fighting hardest for Joe Biden.”
Barrasso’s endorsement appears to be an attempt to get Montana Republicans to coalesce behind Sheehy, who is seen as more centrist and a safer challenger against incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). It is unclear whether Sheehy will have the Republican field to himself. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), a conservative who has previously been backed by the anti-tax Club for Growth and who lost to Tester in 2018, is also considering a run.
Rosendale has told several lawmakers that he plans to run for the GOP nomination, according to two sources familiar with the conversations. While Rosendale’s plans are unclear, it appears Senate GOP leaders are getting more aggressive in working to consolidate support and prevent a primary that could complicate Republican’s latest attempt to retake the Senate.
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), who was considering a run for the Senate of his own, endorsed Sheehy last week.
“Tim Sheehy not only is a war hero, but he also represents the next generation of leadership,” Zinke said in an interview with Fox News. “He served this country, his wife is a Marine, he understands sacrifice, and he also understands success.”
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