Sen­ate sweep­stakes take a turn as Democ­rats dealt gift with Mon­tana but suf­fer blow with Mary­land

It was a con­se­quen­tial week for the 2024 race for con­trol of the Sen­ate, where Democ­rats were dealt both a polit­i­cal gift and a new chal­lenge in races in Mon­tana and Mary­land as they attempt to hold on to their slim Sen­ate major­i­ty.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R‑MT) announced Fri­day that he will run for Sen­ate in Mon­tana, defy­ing the wish­es of nation­al Repub­li­cans and set­ting up a con­tentious pri­ma­ry to take on vul­ner­a­ble Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen. Jon Tester (D‑MT). Mean­while, in Mary­land, Repub­li­can Lar­ry Hogan, the pop­u­lar for­mer gov­er­nor, said he plans to run for the state’s open Sen­ate seat, poten­tial­ly mak­ing the race to replace Sen. Ben Cardin (D‑MD) more com­pet­i­tive than pre­vi­ous­ly thought. 

In Mon­tana, Repub­li­cans had hoped to avoid a bit­ter pri­ma­ry in what they see as a must-win state. Tim Shee­hy already has the back­ing of the Nation­al Repub­li­can Sen­a­to­r­i­al Com­mit­tee and also received a key endorse­ment from for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump hours after Rosendale announced his deci­sion to jump into the r …