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What to Know About The Growing MT GOP Primary & Matt Rosendale

After a series of stunning recruitment failures, today Matt Rosendale is announcing his Montana Senate campaign — but even Republicans didn’t want him to run and he enters a divisive and potentially expensive GOP Primary.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE GROWING MT GOP PRIMARY & MATT ROSENDALE:

  • Republicans Didn’t Want Rosendale To Run, But Attorney General Fox and Congressman Zinke’s refusal “threw a grenade into the GOP’s 2018 planning.” The Washington Post wrote “Montana Republicans lost their top recruit, Ryan Zinke” and “Attorney General Tim Fox (R) also said no thanks.” Politico wrote that Zinke’s refusal “threw a grenade into the GOP’s 2018 planning.” [Washington Post, 6/5/17; Politico Pro, 6/01/17]
    • AP: “Fox was being courted by national and state party leaders to run against Tester after the GOP’s first choice, former U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, took a cabinet position with President Donald Trump.” [Associated Press, 6/5/17]
    • The Hill, HEADLINE: “Montana AG Fox dashes GOP hopes, won’t bid for Senate in 2018.” [The Hill, 6/02/17]
    • Montana Republican: “Zinke and Fox were the ‘end of our big guns.’”  “Zinke and Fox were the ‘end of our big guns,’ one Montana Republican said. That’s given way to a crowded field of little-known candidates, with a handful of lesser-known names eyeing the race, too.” [Roll Call, 7/11/17]
  • AP: In The Midst Of The Health Care Debate, Rosendale “appeared to misunderstand” an explanation by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana on why insurance rates will rise under the GOP health care agenda. [AP, 7/6/17]
  • Rosendale Is Not From Montana And Has A Maryland Accent. “Republicans understand the importance of nominating someone who ‘screams Montana’ against Tester…There’s disagreement about whether Rosendale fits the bill. He moved to the state in the early 2000s, and has been ribbed for having a Maryland accent.” [Roll Call, 7/11/17]
  • Republicans Say Rosendale Is Not An Impressive Candidate, Stating “If you’re the most well-known in a pack of people that no one knows, does that really make you the guy to watch?” “That’s a view shared by some of Rosendale’s skeptics in Montana, too. ‘If you’re the most well-known in a pack of people that no one knows, does that really make you the guy to watch?’”  [Roll Call, 7/11/17]
  • Rosendale Already Has Several Primary Opponents. “In addition to Rosendale…Republicans have said they’re in the race: State Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell, Big Sky businessman Troy Downing and Belgrade business owner Ron Murray. State District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings also is considering the race. He has formed an exploratory committee to run for office.” [MTN News, 7/31/17]
  • Rosendale Supported Repealing Obamacare Without A Replacement And Backed The GOP’s Health Care Plan: Spiking Premiums, Imposing An Age Tax On Older Montanans And Stripping Away Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions.” [KXLH,7/18/17; KTVQ, 3/16/17]
  • Rosendale Said He Had “far too much work to do” As Commissioner Before He Could Run For Another Office. “State Auditor Matt Rosendale also thought about running but recently told the Voices of Montana radio show that “I’ve got far too much work to do here in the commissioner’s office to be distracted by the special election for Congress.” [Great Falls Tribune, 2/5/17]

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