Former Navy SEAL looking to oust Sen. Tester in Montana scores big-name endorsements

For those looking for a positive sign for America, there are currently 5 former Navy SEALS serving in Congress — 10 years ago there were zero — and they are looking to add to their ranks.

In what promises to be one of the most watched races in the 2024 election, former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy is looking to take on three-term Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. Running as a Republican, Sheehy’s efforts received a boost this week when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got on board.

“I want you to know that I’ve looked carefully, and I think Tim Sheehy is going to be a great United States senator. He’s a patriot, he’s hard-working, he’s a good businessman, he served in the military, and I think, with your help, he’s going to help straighten Washington out,” Gingrich said, according to Fox News.

Sheehy served in “Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and the Pacific region, receiving the Bronze Star with Valor for Heroism in Combat and the Purple Heart Medal,” the network noted, adding that he and his Marine veteran wife Carmen Sheehy share four kids and own several businesses.

Other key endorsements begin with Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, (R-Mont.) — Zinke became the first SEAL elected to Congress in 2014.

“Tim Sheehy is a decorated veteran, successful businessman, and a great Montanan,” Daines said in a committee statement this past June, according to Fox News. “I could not be happier that he has decided to enter the Montana Senate race.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark,) has also offered a full-throated endorsement of Sheehy.

“I am proud to endorse [Sheehy]. He’s a combat veteran and entrepreneur who will fight against the Biden agenda and for Montanans in the U.S. Senate. Help Tim take back this seat,” Cotton tweeted in June while sharing a campaign video Sheehy put out.

A number of other members of the upper chamber of Congress have backed the former SEAL, including Sens. Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.; Ted Budd, R-N.C.; Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; and Eric Schmitt, R-Mo.

The five former SEALS currently serving in Congress include Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Morgan Luttrell (R-Texas), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.), and Rep. Zinke, who is chairman of the Supporting and Electing American Leaders Political Action Committee (SEAL PAC), which helped elect Crane, Van Orden and Luttrell, who is the twin brother of “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell.

“It is a group where we can collectively come together and voice our concerns, and we know that it’s safe right there,” Luttrell said. “If we need guidance and direction, we can lean on each other.”

Tom Tillison

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