Republican Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL, announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Montana, earning praise from the head of the GOP Senate campaign arm.
Sheehy launched his run with a one-minute video detailing his service in Afghanistan and his work with an aerial firefighting company.
“Whether it was in war or business, I see problems and solve them,” Sheehy says in the video. “American needs conservative leaders who love our country. That’s why I’m running for the United States Senate … Our campaign is about service, God and country, not politics as usual.”
Sheehy’s launch video does not mention Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, but he said in a press release that the Democrat “has been in office for nearly a quarter of a century and he’s lost sight of our Montana values.”
Tester is a top target in 2024 as one of three Democrats up for re-election in states that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020. Trump won Montana by 16 percentage points that year.
The Montana Democratic Party responded to Sheehy’s announcement by knocking his ties to the Treasure State.
“Jon Tester has farm equipment that’s been in Montana longer than Tim Sheehy,” party communications advisor Monica Robinson said in a statement. “The last thing Montanans want in a senator is an out-of-state transplant recruited by Mitch McConnell and DC lobbyists. The tough questions Tim Sheehy is facing are just beginning.”
National Republicans welcomed his announcement on Tuesday.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines, also a Montanan, said in a statement, “Tim Sheehy is a decorated veteran, successful businessman, and a great Montanan. I could not be happier that he has decided to enter the Montana Senate race.”
But Sheehy might not have the GOP primary to himself. GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale has also been weighing a Senate run, and he could have the backing of the deep-pocketed, conservative Club for Growth if he decides to run.