Blaming Death Threat, Lawmaker Quits Another Race

GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale dropped Senate candidacy last month
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2024 7:21 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2024 2:20 PM CST
Montana Republican Abruptly Drops Senate Bid
Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Jan. 10 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)
UPDATE Mar 8, 2024 2:20 PM CST

For the second time in a month, Rep. Matt Rosendale has dropped out of a congressional race. The Montana Republican, who earlier ended his Senate campaign, posted Friday that he will no longer seek reelection to the US House. Rosendale said he's been the subject of defamatory rumors and a death threat that prompted him to ask law enforcement officers to check on his children, the AP reports. "This has taken a serious toll on me and my family," Rosendale wrote, saying "the current attacks have made it impossible for me to focus on my work to serve you." He said he'll retire from Congress at the end of the year.

Feb 16, 2024 7:21 AM CST

Matt Rosendale's run for the US Senate kicked off less than a week ago, but it's already over. Politico reports that the Republican congressman from Montana has called it quits on his campaign, after former President Trump gave a thumbs-up to his rival, fellow GOPer Tim Sheehy. "Instead of one of those phony statements from politicians, here's my statement on why I'm withdrawing my candidacy for the US Senate," Rosendale wrote in said statement, which he posted on social media Thursday evening. "As everyone knows, I have planned to run for the US Senate and to win both the primary and the general election. However, the day I announced, President Trump then announced that he was endorsing a different candidate."

Rosendale went on to note that when Trump went for Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL who now runs an aerial firefighting company, he was forced to reassess whether his own Senate run made sense. His conclusion: nope. "By my calculations, with Trump endorsing my opponent and the lack of resources, the hill was just too steep," Rosendale noted in his statement. He added, in reference to Trump: "I have long been a supporter of the president, and remain so." The GOP is hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November. It's not clear if Rosendale will run for reelection in the House (Trump has suggested he'll get behind Rosendale for that bid). The AP notes that "several other Republicans have already announced their intentions to enter that race." (More Senate candidate stories.)

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