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Trump Super PAC Continues Air Assault on Tester

American First Action is launching third TV ad against Montana Democrat

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., here at the Crow Fair in August, is No. 6 on Roll Call’s latest list of the 10 most vulnerable senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., here at the Crow Fair in August, is No. 6 on Roll Call’s latest list of the 10 most vulnerable senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

America First Action, a super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump, is going on the air in Montana with another TV ad attacking Democratic Sen. Jon Tester

The ad, obtained first by Roll Call, argues that Tester isn’t the Montana farmer he says he is, citing a 2017 Washington Post story that called him “as much a member of the Beltway elite as any other senator.” That’s become a standard Republican attack on Tester, who’s running for a third term against Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale in a state Tump carried by 20 points in 2016.

“On TV, Jon Tester drives a tractor,” the narrator says at the beginning of the spot. “But it’s Montana that’s being taken for a ride.”

The ad will run Oct. 6-12 as part of America First Action’s $1.5 million commitment to the Montana Senate race. The group’s previous ad against Tester, which aired Sept. 28 through Oct. 5, also argued that he’s “gone Washington.” The group is running digital ads in the state, too. In May, America First spent six-figures on an ad attacking Tester for his opposition to Trump’s Veterans Affairs nominee. 

Democrats are leaning into Tester’s identity as a farmer, trying to paint a contrast with Rosendale, a former Maryland land developer, by mocking the Republican’s claims to be a rancher. A new ad from a Democratic outside group on Friday debuted a different attack on Rosendale, going after his record as insurance commissioner in the state. 

“Matt Rosendale would make Washington worse,” the narrator concludes in the ad from Majority Forward, the affiliated nonprofit of Senate Majority PAC.

Tester ranks No. 6 on Roll Call’s latest ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

ICYMI: In Montana, Searching for Votes in the ‘Teepee Capital of the World’

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