Mar 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Rosendale drops bid for re-election, citing threats

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Conservative Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) announced Friday he will not seek re-election to his House seat, saying that death threats and "false and defamatory rumors against me and my family" led to his decision.

Why it matters: Rosendale's decision was a reversal from last week, when he announced he'd run for re-election — a move he made after dropping out of a heated GOP primary for a Montana Senate seat.

  • Rosendale — a firebrand conservative who played a key role in ousting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last year — said threats against he and his family impacted his decision.
  • "This has taken a serious toll on me, and my family. Additionally, it has caused a serious disruption to the election of the next representative for MT-02," he said in a statement, referring to his House district.
  • Rosendale dropped his Senate bid in mid-Feburary after former President Trump endorsed former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy in the race.

The intrigue: Rosendale's latest exit from the House race comes after former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) alleged on a podcast that he had exited the Senate race because he impregnated a staffer.

  • Rosendale later threatened legal action against Heitkamp, vehemently denying accusations of an affair.

The big picture: Several Republicans announced they would run for Rosendale's House seat after he entered the Senate race.

  • The House district is projected to remain a GOP stronghold in November.
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