Former Navy SEAL Sheehy announces Montana Senate bid

Tim Sheehy, also the founder of an aerial firefighting company, announced the bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Jon Tester because “Americans are feeling underrepresented. They’re tired of a government that they don’t feel is working for them.” | Jbsmitty via Wikimedia Commons

Former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy on Tuesday announced that he’s jumping into Montana’s contentious Senate race.

“From inflation to our border to our deficit, America is ready for change. And I think it’s time for a new generation of leaders to step up,” Sheehy told Fox News. “Leaders who understand servant leadership, which is putting the mission before yourself, and leaders who understand how to get results.”

Sheehy, also the founder of an aerial firefighting company, announced the bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Jon Tester because “Americans are feeling underrepresented. They’re tired of a government that they don’t feel is working for them.”

Already, Montana is of the most closely watched Senate races set for next year. Along with races in Arizona and West Virginia, the seat is one of a handful expected to determine control of the chamber’s majority in the next Congress.

Sheehy’s announcement also comes as Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), who ran for the seat and lost in 2018, plots a second bid to unseat Tester, having told lawmakers that he plans to seek the GOP nomination. It’s unclear when Rosendale would make it official, but if he does, a crowded primary could complicate the party’s chances of retaking the Senate.

While deployed, Sheehy spent time in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and the Pacific region, earning multiple combat decorations, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He then founded Bridger Aerospace and its sister company, Ascent Vision Technologies, and he owns a cattle ranch for beef production.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) praised Sheehy’s decision but stopped short of an endorsement.

“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,” Daines said in a statement.

The Montana Democratic Party took shots at Sheehy shortly after the announcement, accusing him of being an “out-of-state transplant” recruited by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Washington lobbyists. Sheehy is a relative newcomer to the state, having moved there in 2014, according to Montana’s government website.

“Jon Tester has farm equipment that’s been in Montana longer than Tim Sheehy,” said Monica Robinson, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.