Rosendale wins re-election to Congress in Eastern District race in Montana

By: - November 9, 2022 11:02 am

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale before going on a broadcast on Newsmax on March 3, 2022 (Photo credit via Rep. Matt Rosendale).

Incumbent Rep. Matt Rosendale was re-elected to serve in Congress in Montana’s new eastern district, with the Associated Press calling the election with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

With 57 percent of the vote, Rosendale won over Democrat Penny Ronning, Independent Gary Buchanan and Libertarian Sam Rankin on Election Day. The race between Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat Monica Tranel, in Montana’s newly created Western district, is still too early to call.

In a Facebook post, Rosendale said he was humbled by the support from Montanans. 

“Montanans can count on me to focus on getting our economy back on track, working to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending, and continuing to prioritize serving our veterans, promoting American energy independence, and working to secure our Southern Border,” Rosendale said in the post. 

Rosendale was predicted to win the eastern district, with forecaster FiveThirtyEight listing him as “very likely” to win in 99 of 100 scenarios. 

Ronning congratulated Rosendale on winning the district and thanked voters and volunteers in a social media post early Wednesday morning. 

The partisan dynamics in the newly drawn eastern district swing Republican, and Democrats have struggled statewide for some time, Montana political analysts told the Daily Montanan earlier in the campaign season. Montana hasn’t sent a Democrat to the House of Representatives since 1994.

Rosendale won despite participating in just two televised debates during the campaign, a point that Buchanan brought up as a strike against him during the Western Native Voice debate in Billings.

“Penny and I have accepted every debate that we’ve been asked to do,” he said. “Our opponents don’t show up.”

But Rosendale out-fundraised his competitors considerably, raking in $2.1 million as of Sept. 30. Ronning brought in just over $157,000 and Buchanan more than $563,000, including a $25,000 loan from himself.

Montana’s at-large congressional district was split in two earlier this year after the state’s population grew as reported in the 2020 U.S. Census.

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Nicole Girten
Nicole Girten

Nicole Girten is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune as a government watchdog reporter. She holds a degree from Florida State University and a Master of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.