Axios: The 2018 Senate elections to keep an eye on
Montana: Democratic Sen. Jon Tester will be up against Republican state auditor Matt Rosendale or possibly Judge Russell Fagg. But those aren't the strongest candidates he could have faced. The GOP's top two picks for the seat had been Ryan Zinke, who is now Trump's Interior secretary, and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, who is now likely to run for governor.
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Joe Biden energizes Democrats in Helena
On a night meant to energize Democrats around the state of Montana, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a sold-out crowd about 1,300 people at the 40th annual Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner in Helena.
Biden took the stage late Saturday night, calling U.S. Sen. Jon Tester an authentic person and "a guy who looks like he can lift an ox out of a ditch."
Tester's re-election was one of the main focuses in an evening featuring party leaders and candidates, all of whom touched on the national political mood under Republican President Donald J. Trump but spent most of their time on hope for the future. ...
The five Democratic candidates running against Gianforte — Grant Kier, John Heenan, Kathleen Williams, Lynda Moss and Jared Pettinato — all spoke briefly during the event's long agenda, telling voters why they'd be the best to defeat Gianforte, the incumbent Republican, after the Democratic primary.
The Daily 202: Red-state Democratic senator highlights bills signed by Trump in first reelection ad
THE BIG IDEA: Running for reelection in a state Donald Trump carried by 21 points, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is kicking off his 2018 campaign today with a commercial highlighting the 13 pieces of legislation he’s co-sponsored that the president signed into law.
Veterans, a cop, a firefighter and an elderly couple count off the bills and resolutions. Tester, who lost three of his fingers in a meat grinder at age 9, then holds up his hands.
“Washington’s a mess, but that’s not stopping me from getting bills to help Montana signed into law by President Trump,” he says to camera. “I’m out of fingers, but I’m not finished getting things done for Montana.”
During a primary season in which many Democrats are seeking to outdo each another in denouncing Trump the loudest, Tester’s debut ad — shared first with The Daily 202 — foreshadows what you’ll see a lot more of in places like North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana. ...
Tester has stuck with Democrats on the major issues. He opposed the tax cuts on the rationale that they blow up the national debt by more than $1 trillion and fought efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act because Montana benefits from Medicaid expansion. But he has also voted with Trump 52 percent of the time when the president took a position on a bill or nominee, according to Congressional Quarterly.