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Saturday, May 21, 2005

MT-Sen: Jon Tester: "Pretty Damn Serious"

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) - Join Swing State Project by supporting Jon Tester:

Contribution amount: $

I found this via Left in the West, but I'll be setting up Google News Alerts on this one. From the Billings Gazette:

Although the primary election is more than a year away, state Sen. Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy, is setting up a contest for a chance to unseat U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., in 2006.

Tester, fresh from visiting with Democratic Party leaders in Washington, D.C. last week, said Friday in Billings he is putting together a statewide announcement tour for next week. It could begin as early as Tuesday.

"We're pretty damn serious," he said while visiting with labor leaders at the Northern Hotel at the AFL-CIO state convention.

I'm glad he's serious, because Conrad Burns is the single most vulnerable U.S. Senator in 2006.

Tester, 48, an organic farmer, is president of the Montana Senate. He is barred by term limits from running again for the Senate, where he has served since 1999.

He said it will be tough to raise money in Montana and that a lengthy campaign is "brutal" - but that is necessary nowadays.

Raising money in Montana is tough, the GOP ran the economy into the ground. That is why Burns raises most of his money from out-of-staters and lobbyists. But Tester could beat Burns with a third as much money, because he is the real deal. I know people say that often about candidates, but few measure up to Big Sandy's Jon Tester.

I remember watching the crowd in the Montana Secretary of State's office on the day of the filing deadline to run for the legislature in 1998. Everyone had heard of this Tester-guy who was running for a very Republican state senate seat up on the Hi-Line. People seemed in awe when they finally saw him, he owned the room. Imagine a high school basketball team showing up on game-night with a seven foot center, that is how people looked at him. And since then, his stature has only grown as people have watched him excel as a legislator. He is the real deal, he's ready for prime-time, and his populism will make this a race to watch.

If Tester does enter the race next week, I will do two things:

1. Send him some money

2. Change the status on this race from Leaning Republican to Leaning Democrat

Last year, Tester's campaigning helped Democrats win both chambers of the legislature for the first time in a long time. He already has a statewide infrastructure and is respected by many Montanans who don't consider Democrats who act like lawyers. He is the type of western populist that can restore a sense of pride for western Democrats.

Tester is a straight-talker, so when he says he is taking this "pretty damn serious" -- pay attention. But notice the quote, it wasn't about him. He said, "We're pretty damn serious." I think the "we" refers to almost everyone he's ever met or will meet before election day. Count me in.

UPDATE: (Bob) Montana-blog The Last Best Place:

Tester's In
Since I wasn't all that excited about John Morrison's campaign to unseat incumbent $enator, Conrad Burns, I welcomed the story in today's Billings Gazette which indicates Jon Tester, a fellow wheat farmer, will be making an anncouncement this coming week. [...]

Now, this is a campaign that I can not only get excited about, but also donate heavily to. Way to go Jon!

Posted at 02:09 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana | Technorati


Leaning democrat? Woah. This guy must be pretty good.

Posted by: jkfp2004 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 21, 2005 02:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pretty good?

Tester's damn good.

Posted by: Bob Brigham [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 21, 2005 05:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment