Rep. Matt Rosendale Ends House Re-election Bid, Citing ‘Defamatory Rumors’

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AP Photo/Matt Volz

Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT) has had a whirlwind month. 

In mid-February, he announced he would challenge Sen. John Tester (D-MT). Tester is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, especially in an election cycle that has an overabundance of vulnerable Democratic Senators

However, Rosendale withdrew his bid a week later.


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Then, this month, Rosendale announced his re-election bid for his House seat. However, on Friday, he withdrew from the race under strange circumstances.

In his statement, Rosendale alludes to “false and defamatory rumors” as the reason for his exit, saying he’s also faced death threats. “This has taken a serious toll on me, and my family. Additionally, it has caused a serious disruption to the election of the next representative for MT-02.”

Rosendale’s district is still expected to stay in Republican hands.

The “false and defamatory rumors” appear to stem from a recent podcast appearance by former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, in which she alleged that Rosendale impregnated a staffer. 

Rosendale’s office adamantly denied the rumor.

“This is 100% false and defamatory and former Senator Heitkamp will be hearing from our lawyers soon,” Ron Kovach, a spokesperson for Rosendale (R-Mont.), told POLITICO in a statement.

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