Sheehy’s campaign announced that it purchased slots for two ads to air across various channels in the state, including broadcast, cable, satellite television, and digital platforms. There are two ads, a 30-second and 60-second video featuring the veteran.
He announced his bid to take on Tester last month, with the blessing of National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT), along with other prominent Republican senators and lawmakers.
“Whether it was in war or business, I see problems and solve them. America needs conservative leaders who love our country,” he says in the minute-long hit.
“I want to create a better future for my kids and your children and grandchildren. Our campaign is about service, God, and country, not politics as usual,” he tells viewers.
The ad purchase comes as Senate Republicans look to avoid a messy primary battle, despite Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-MT) previously reported intentions to enter the race. The congressman ran against Tester as the Republican nominee in 2018, losing by less than 20,000 votes.
Rosendale has enjoyed the backing of the conservative Club for Growth in the past, whose interests sometimes clash with the preferred candidates of Senate Republican leaders. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) PAC, before formally entering the Senate race. The club, however, is supporting and financially backing Rep. Alex Mooney’s (R-WV) bid for the seat, slamming Justice as “Mitch McConnell’s chosen candidate” and a “big government RINO.”
A representative for Rosendale did not respond to a question about a Senate bid.
However, the Club indicated recently that it is impressed by Sheehy and is not committed to supporting a Rosendale campaign if he were to enter the primary race.
“Matt has not yet decided whether to run. If he does, we’re going to take a close look at that race and figure out what the best answer is,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. “We’re still in the process of deciding, and we’ll have to continue to do that.”
The Cook Political Report rates the Senate seat as “lean Democratic” going into 2024.
Tester could prove difficult to defeat. The Montana Democrat is relatively well-liked in the state and boasts an approval rating of 42% among Montana voters who disapprove of President Joe Biden. Notably, his approval rating is better than similarly vulnerable Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), none of whom were able to break 34% in the same category.
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