Montana’s Republican commissioner of securities and insurance won't say he’s going to challenge Democrat Jon Tester for Montana’s Senate seat that's up for grabs in 2018 – but Matt Rosendale also isn’t saying he won't run.
On Monday the Washington, D.C. news source Roll Call reported that the GOP is, "waiting on Rosendale in Montana’s Senate Race."
I asked Rosendale if he's running.
"I certainly have had tremendous encouragement from the people of Montana, and from some of the leadership in the Republican party from Washington to consider that," he said.
Rosendale said that he’s not focused on a possible Senate run at the moment.
"Right now, I’m completely focused on making sure that I take care of the needs within my agency, and make sure that the people of Montana have access to the best healthcare possible," he said.
The Associated Press is reporting that Senator Tester has added another $2 million to his campaign war chest as he prepares to face his eventual Republican opponent.
Ahead of Friday's latest fundraising reporting deadline, his campaign said he already had $4.7 million in hand as of June 30.
His $2 million take since April 1 adds to a similar amount he reported to the Federal Election Commission for the first quarter of the year.
With less than a year before the Republican primary, potential GOP contenders will have to make a decision soon to begin building the campaign infrastructure and financial backing to mount a serious campaign.
Democrats have also shown concern about a possible run by District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings, a former state legislator, who has formed an exploratory committee. Fagg earlier announced that he would be stepping down from the bench in October and has said he would not make a formal announcement about a Senate bid until then.
A handful of lesser-known Republicans have also expressed interested in Tester's seat, which handicappers say could be among the most competitive next year.