Tester reelection campaign raises $8 million in first quarter

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) raised more than $8 million in the first quarter of the year, his campaign announced Monday, as the incumbent fights to hold on to his upper chamber seat in the red-leaning state.

The figure sets a record for the best first-quarter fundraising in a Montana Senate race, according to the campaign.

Tester is seen as one of the most prominent and vulnerable Democratic moderates up for reelection in 2024, and a top GOP target in the party’s efforts to flip the Senate this November.

His chief Republican rival, businessman Tim Sheehy, is one of the GOP’s top 2024 recruits, and the candidate preferred by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). Sheehy has scored the backing of both the Republican Senate campaign arm, which Daines leads, and former President Trump.

But Tester’s campaign said the latest fundraising figures show “enormous enthusiasm” to reelect the Democrat in November.

“This record-breaking grassroots support shows that Montanans are fired up to send the seven-fingered dirt farmer back to the U.S. Senate,” said Shelbi Dantic, the campaign manager of Montanans for Jon Tester, in a statement.

According to Tester’s campaign, 16,000 donations came in during the first quarter, and 96 percent of donations were less than $100.

Fox News Digital reported that Sheehy brought in more than $3 million in the first quarter. The official first-quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission for both Tester and Sheehy were not immediately available. The deadline to submit the reports is Monday.

Polling has shown Sheehy and Tester locked in a tight race. One new poll in the state this week showed Sheehy pulling ahead of the Democrat by 3 points, within the poll’s margin of error, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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