John Riley

HELENA (KPAX) — Republican Matt Rosendale officially announced Wednesday his campaign for reelection to Montana's second congressional district.

The two-term U.S. Representative made the announcement on social media saying: “I have always said I will serve where the people of Montana feel I can be most effective, and serving Montana in Congress has truly been the honor and privilege of a lifetime.”

Rosendale enters a crowded Republican field for the seat he currently holds, with several of the current candidates telling MTN previously they would continue to seek the nomination even if Rosendale reentered the race.

At least nine Republican candidates had filed or announced plans to file as of Wednesday morning.

Those candidates include former U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, State Auditor Troy Downing, attorney and former state legislator Joel Krautter, farmer and former state legislator Ric Holden, State Sen. Ken Bogner, State Sen. Ed Walker and former DEA official Stacy Zinn. Zinn had said she would leave the race if Rosendale ran for it again.

The announcement to run for reelection comes just shy of two weeks since Rosendale dropped out of the U.S. Senate race. After months of speculation he would try to challenge incumbent Democrat Jon Tester for the Senate seat, Rosendale exited the race after six days. The congressman cited former President Trump’s endorsement of Bozeman businessman and U.S. Navy veteran Tim Sheehy as his primary reason for withdrawing.

On Saturday, an amended statement of candidacy form was filed for Rosendale with the Federal Election Commission.

The deadline for anyone to file for the ballot is March 11, 2024