Montana Sen. Jon Tester Wednesday announced he will seek reelection in 2024, a big boost for Democrats as they seek to hold onto their narrow majority.
Tester vowed to be a “fighter” and “hold our government accountable” if he scores a fourth term in Washington, D.C.
“(I’ll) demand Washington stand up for veterans and lower costs for families,” he said in a tweet. “I will always fight to defend our Montana values. Let’s get to work.”
The 66-year-old farmer from rural Havre is one of three Democrats facing tough battles in states that voted for former President Donald Trump, a group that includes Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Democrats now hold 51 seats, meaning they can likely only afford to lose one of those seats and hope to stay in power.
Manchin is considered a major underdog because West Virginia has become a nearly impenetrable GOP stronghold.
Tester is well-known and liked in the Big Sky State and holds narrow leads in polls.
But he could be vulnerable if President Joe Biden remains unpopular in red state America heading into the presidential election contest.
There are at least three Republican heavyweights considering making runs to unseat Tester: Gov. Greg Gianforte and the state’s two GOP congressmen, Rep. Ryan Zinke and Rep. Matt Rosendale.
Polls suggest Gianforte might make the strongest opponent for Tester, but he might not want to give up the governor’s mansion for a crap shoot race for Senate.