Montana senate candidate raises $400K for bid against Tester

Montana senate candidate raises $400K for bid against Tester
© Greg Nash

Montana state auditor Matt Rosendale (R) has raised about $410,000 in the third fundraising quarter as he looks to navigate through a crowded GOP primary for the chance to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterMontana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Vulnerable Dems side with Warren in battle over consumer bureau The Memo: Trump roars into rally season MORE

“The outpouring of support we have seen for our campaign across this state is incredible. Montanans are clearly tired of Jon Tester's political games in Washington D.C.,” Rosendale said in a statement shared first with The Hill.
 
“Montanans know that I mean business and am here to get the job done.”
 
Rosendale's campaign shared its fundraising figures with The Hill ahead of its filing with the Federal Election Commission. All Senate candidates must file reports from July through September by this weekend. 
 
Since the auditor announced his bid at the end of July, he only had two of those three months to fill his campaign account. 
 
Most Montana Republicans consider Rosendale the slight favorite in the GOP primary thanks to his experience running statewide and his conservative reputation as a member of the state legislature. He also is expected to win the backing of former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News head Stephen Bannon, who is working with allies to back a spate of candidates in GOP primaries. 
 
A handful of candidates are running against Rosendale in that GOP primary right now, including businessman and veteran Troy Downing, state Sen. Albert Olszewski and businessman Ronald Murray. Judge Russell Fagg is also exploring a bid.  
 
Downing is seen as Rosendale's top opponent. He has the backing of Lola Zinke, the wife of former Montana congressman and current Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeZinke takes forestry fight to fire-ravaged California Trump officials open door to fracking in California Zinke blames ‘radical environmentalists’ for wildfires MORE, who is serving as his campaign chairwoman. Downing, having sold his internet business to Yahoo in the 1990s, could also sink some of his own money into his bid. 
 
None of the other GOP candidates have announced their fundraising hauls yet, but Tester's campaign told reporters this week that it raised $1.2 million over the third quarter and has more than $5 million banked away for his bid.