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Sen. Tester approaches $8M in fundraising for 2018 re-election - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Sen. Tester approaches $8M in fundraising for 2018 re-election

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U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.
HELENA -

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester reported Friday that his 2018 re-election campaign raised another $1.2 million the past three months, pushing him close to $8 million in total funds raised.

The two-term Democrat from Montana also said that as of Sept. 30, his campaign had $5.4 million remaining in the bank – more than a year before the election.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from Montanans, as they see Jon relentlessly fighting for our veterans, schools and jobs,” campaign manager Christie Roberts said in a statement.

According to Tester’s campaign-finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, he has donors from almost every state in the nation, including hundreds from California, New York and Washington, D.C.

Tester, considered one of the more vulnerable Democratic U.S. Senate candidates in the nation, has raised about $7.8 million for his current campaign – and spent $2.4 million of that money.

As of Friday, five Republicans had announced they’re competing for their party’s nomination to challenge Tester next year: James Dean, a financial adviser from Havre, Big Sky businessman Troy Downing, business owner Ron Murray of Belgrade, State Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell, and state Auditor Matt Rosendale.

State District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings also has formed an exploratory committee and is stepping down from his judgeship next week, after which he’ll announce whether he plans to become an official candidate.

Only one of the other candidates -- Olszewski -- released fundraising figures on Friday. He said he raised about $127,000 during the past three months.

Third-quarter fundraising reports aren't due with the FEC until Oct. 15. 

Tester’s campaign said 91 percent of his contributions have been $100 or less.

Tester was involved in the state’s most expensive campaign five years ago, when he defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg in 2012. The two candidates raised more than $20 million and outside groups spent another $30 million on the race.

About Mike Dennison

MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015 after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government. While some may believe that politics are boring, Mike firmly believes that's not the case if you tell the story with pizzazz and let people know why the story is important.
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