Tester won’t commit to running for reelection in 2024
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Sunday indicated he had not yet decided whether he will run for reelection but expressed confidence he could pull off a win.
“If I decide to run in this thing, and it’ll be a discussion that I have with my family over the holidays because it is a big undertaking, I feel good about my chances,” Tester told NBC’s Chuck Todd during an appearance on “Meet the Press.”
“People are going to come after me,” Tester, who would be one of the most vulnerable incumbent Senate Democrats if he runs in two years, added. “They’ve come after me in the past, but that’s politics. And we’ll get through it and then hopefully be successful come November of 2024.”
Democrats won a 51-49 Senate majority in this year’s midterms by successfully defending every incumbent and flipping Pennsylvania’s GOP-held Senate seat. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) subsequently left the party to become an Independent but is still expected to hold committee assignments through the Democratic caucus.
However, the party faces an uphill battle in the 2024 cycle, with Tester and multiple other red-state Democrats up for reelection and few potential pickup opportunities from GOP-held seats. Other vulnerable Senate Democrats include Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio).
Former President Trump won Montana by 16 percentage points in 2020 and 20 points four years earlier.
But Montana residents have elected Tester to three terms despite simultaneously supporting Republicans for the House and the presidency on the same ballot.
During his appearance on NBC, Tester touted his efforts at bipartisanship since arriving in the Senate in 2007 and his work on issues such as veterans and infrastructure.
“I’ve been able to do a lot of good things working with other people in a bipartisan way in the United States Senate working for small businesses and working families and family farm agriculture,” Tester said on NBC.
“That’s what I’m gonna be talking about is a record of accomplishment if I choose to run,” Tester added. “And if we’re able to do that and get that message out effectively, I will win as I’ve won in the past. If we’re not effective in that, of course, then it’s going to be a different outcome.”
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