HELENA, Mont. (AP) - President Donald Trump is returning to Montana on Saturday to hold an unprecedented fourth rally in support of Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale just days before the election, campaign officials said Monday.
No sitting president has visited Montana more than three times, and Trump isn’t scheduled to visit any state to campaign in the midterm elections more than four times, according to an Associated Press analysis. If his schedule holds, Montana and Indiana would top the list for presidential campaign visits this election cycle.
Trump is scheduled to appear Saturday afternoon at a hangar at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, according to the Rosendale campaign.
Trump has taken an active interest in the Montana Senate race after blaming incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester for derailing the nomination of his first choice to head the Veterans Affairs department, White House doctor Ronny Jackson. He vowed that Tester would pay at the polls.
Tester is seeking a third term in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.
“President Trump knows how important it is that we defeat Jon Tester this November and that’s why he’s making this historic fourth visit back to Montana to campaign for us,” Rosendale said in a statement. “It’s a tremendous honor to have President Trump’s full support and now we must rally behind him and win this race.”
Tester and Rosendale, who is the state auditor and insurance commissioner, are in a close race. That has led to multiple trips to the state by not just Trump, but Vice President Mike Pence and just last weekend, son Donald Trump Jr.
Tester spokesman Chris Meagher declined to comment on Trump’s return to the state, instead focusing on Rosendale’s support of short-term insurance plans that don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
“Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale can keep trying to distract from his record, but the reality is that he has made it clear he will not fight to protect the 152,000 Montanans who have pre-existing conditions like asthma or high blood pressure,” Meagher said.
Voting is already underway in Montana for the Nov. 6 election, with more than 197,000 people casting absentee ballots as of Sunday, according to the secretary of state’s office.
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