Jonathan Ambarian

HELENA (KPAX) — Montana saw more than $160 million in spending during the 2020 U.S. Senate race, and with more than a year to go until the 2024 Senate election, it appears the state is again on track for a race with huge amounts of money raised.

The campaigns of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Republican candidate Tim Sheehy are both reporting they brought in millions of dollars over the last three months.

It’s the latest sign of the high interest in Montana’s Senate race, which is expected to be one of the most watched campaigns in the country.

Sept. 30, 2023, marked the end of the third quarter of the year. Federal candidates are required to file campaign finance reports for each quarter.

This was the first quarter Sheehy — a businessman and Navy veteran from Gallatin County — had to report his fundraising.

On Tuesday, his campaign announced he raised more than $2.8 million over three months — $2.2 million from donors and $650,000 from his personal contributions and loans.

At the end of the quarter, the campaign reported having more than $1.1 million in cash on hand.

Also on Tuesday, Tester’s campaign said it raised more than $5 million in the third quarter — following another $5 million each of the previous two quarters.

They reported having more than $13 million available to spend at the start of October.

There’s still speculation U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale may join the Republican race for Senate, but for now, he’s filing campaign paperwork for his House seat.

His latest quarterly report wasn’t available on the Federal Election Commission website as of Tuesday afternoon.

As of July, his House campaign account had just over $1.5 million in cash on hand, after bringing in about $442,000 during the second quarter.

Full third-quarter financial reports for federal candidates — which are due on Oct. 15 — will provide more details about candidates’ fundraising and spending.