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Montana Rep. Rosendale drops US House reelection bid, citing rumors and death threat

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana announced Friday he would no longer seek reelection — the second time he’s filed and dropped out of a congressional race in the past month.

Rosendale cited defamatory rumors and a death threat against him that caused him to send law enforcement officers to check on his children as reasons for retiring at the end of the year.

“This has taken a serious toll on me and my family,” Rosendale said in a social media post, adding that “the current attacks have made it impossible for me to focus on my work to serve you.”

Rosendale, a hardline conservative, initially filed on Feb. 9 for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Jon Tester — even though Republican leaders had endorsed former Navy SEAL and businessman Tim Sheehy. Conservative Montana lawmakers had encouraged Rosendale to run.

Rosendale dropped out of the Senate race six days later, citing former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Sheehy and the inability to raise enough money for a Senate campaign. He filed for reelection to his House seat on Feb. 28, he said, “at the urging of many, including several of the current candidates.”

In Washington, Rosendale is among the House’s most hard-right conservatives and a member of the House Freedom Caucus. He banded with seven other members of his party in October to oust Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

He also supports Trump, voted against certifying the 2020 election, and cosponsored legislation with Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz to defund Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s alleged storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Amy Beth Hanson, The Associated Press

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