(DailyVantage.com) – Moderate Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) announced on Wednesday that he will be seeking re-election. Having taken office in 2007, this would be Tester’s 4th term.
Tester is regarded as one of the more conservative Democrats in the U.S. Senate, next to Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who switched her party affiliation to Independent back in December of 2022 but still caucuses with Democrats.
Representative Tom Ryan (D-OH), a fellow moderate who lost his senate bid to conservative author J.D. Vance last November, tweeted the following about Tester’s decision to run: “I am really glad to hear this. Thank you.”
Tester’s home state of Montana also happens to be pretty deeply red. It is home to Freedom Caucus Representative Matt Rosandale (R-MT), who gained quite a bit of notoriety for his ardent opposition to Kevin McCarthy’s Speakership in January. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), the only other House Representative, is also a Republican, along with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) who was recently embroiled in controversy for his hunting pictures on Twitter.
Being a lone Democrat, Tester sticks out like a sore thumb. Though Tester claims to be running to defend “Montana values” it’s unclear how he can do that as a Biden supporting Democrat.
Tester’s seat will likely prove to be vital to maintaining a Democrat-controlled Senate in 2024. Like Joe Manchin, Tester represents a conservative state and will be challenged by conservative Republicans eager to tie him to Joe Biden and his progressive agenda.
Senate Democrats look to be facing an uphill battle in 2024 with many seats hanging in the balance. According to CNN, Democrats have 23 seats to defend while Republicans have just 11.
If Tester prevails in 2024, his victory may serve as a sort of barometer for how Senate races will shake out nationally. A Tester defeat, conversely, may be emblematic of a shifting tide in party control.
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