Trump-backed former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy prevails in Montana GOP Senate primary

Former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy prevailed in his quest to be the Republican nominee to take on incumbent Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D), defeating two other candidates, including Brad Johnson, the former Montana secretary of state.

Sheehy, who scored the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, enjoyed “strong support from conservative leadership in Congress,” Fox News reported.

“America is at a crossroads and we need a new generation of leaders to save our country. Joe Biden and Jon Tester’s reckless agenda has brought us skyrocketing food, housing, and energy prices and an open border allowing illegal immigrants, drugs, and crime to flood into our country,” Sheehy said in a statement Tuesday night.

“As a Navy SEAL, I’ve always put country before self and I’m running for the U.S. Senate to end Joe Biden and Jon Tester’s inflation, seal our border, secure our children’s future, and put America First! I am humbled and honored by all the support and look forward to finally retiring the #1 recipient of lobbyist cash and pro-Biden liberal Jon Tester,” he continued.

Sheehy took to X to thank voters in Montana, repeating the new generation of leadership theme:

Trump prevailed by 16 points in Montana during the pandemic-marred 2020 election, while Tester was reelected in the 2018 midterm election by just 3.5 points.

Sheehy was endorsed by Trump back in February, with the former president posting on Truth Social: “I LOVE MONTANA! Tim Sheehy is an American Hero and highly successful Businessman from the Great State of Montana. He is strongly supported by our incredible Chairman of the NRSC, Steve Daines, and many other patriotic Senators and Republicans who have endorsed our Campaign to, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump celebrated Tuesday’s win with the following post:

According to his campaign website profile, Sheehy “completed several deployments and hundreds of missions as a Navy SEAL Officer and Team Leader, deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, and the Pacific region. Sheehy was involved in dozens of engagements with enemy forces, earning him multiple combat decorations, including the Bronze Star with Valor for Heroism in Combat and the Purple Heart Medal.”

And he is bringing the fire with him, as seen in this recent campaign ad:

(Video Credit: Tim Sheehy)

Turns out that the father, husband, combat veteran, and entrepreneur appears to be in the right place at the right time in what will be a highly contested race.

More on that from CBS News:

The race in red Montana, a state where Trump beat President Biden by more than 16 points in 2020, is expected to be among the most competitive and costly this cycle. The state has elected Tester to the Senate three times, though he’s the only Democrat serving in statewide office in Montana at present. And Montana’s changing political profile poses a major hurdle for Tester’s reelection.

Eric Raile, a political science professor at Montana State University, says the political demographic in the state has been changing, noting that trends suggest that an influx of new residents in the state is made up largely of Republicans. The change adds to a dominant showing by the GOP in the state in the last two elections, as Raile noted that their “trajectory has been really strong.”

There are currently five former Navy SEALs in Congress, all in the House of Representatives, including Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke (R).  The others are  U.S. Reps. Morgan Luttrell of Texas, Elijah Crane of Arizona, Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin, and Dan Crenshaw of Texas. All are Republican.

Tom Tillison


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