- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A state judge and former Republican legislator from Billings has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run against U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.

Russell Fagg joins a growing list of Republicans who have expressed interest in unseating the two-term Democrat, who is widely considered among the most vulnerable in next year’s elections.

Fagg recently announced that he would be stepping down in October from the Yellowstone County District Court.

He released a statement on Tuesday that he wants to begin gauging support for a possible run.

His background as a judge and a former state legislator could catapult him above a crowded field that includes state Sen. Albert Olszewski and Big Sky businessman Troy Downing. State Auditor Matt Rosendale has been coy about whether he’s considering a Senate run.


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