MT Republicans react to potential U.S. House run by Rehberg


MISSOULA, Mont. - We're getting reaction on news that former Congressman Denny Rehberg is "seriously considering" a run for his old U.S. House seat.

The Republican was Montana's lone representative for six terms.  He gave the seat up for an unsuccessful run at the U.S. Senate against Jon Tester.

Rehberg says he's keeping his options open, but believes he has "a lot to offer."

The Montana Republican Party isn't commenting, but we talked to a Republican Missoula city councilman who thinks it's a bad idea.

"There's not a lot of consensus right now in the Montana Republican Party about anything. That's the real difficult issue here -- we really need somebody in the party who's a uniter," said Councilman Adam Hertz. "Whoever's elected, my hope is that it's a Republican. Denny can use his institutional knowledge to be helpful to them, but my advice would be to allow a new candidate to bring some new perspective and fresh blood to (Washington) D.C."

Four Republicans have already filed for the U.S. House race, including former State Senator Corey Stapelton, retired Navy Seal Ryan Zinke, Matt Rosendale of Glendive, and Drew Turiano of Helena.

Molly Bell, spokeswoman for Helena's John Lewis -- the only Democrat who has filed to run for the house seat -- released a statement reacting to a Rehberg's potential candidacy: "Montanans already rejected Congressman Dennis Rehberg because he never put politics aside to find solutions for Montana -- and that's what John Lewis has done quietly and effectively for years."

Here are some of the major deadlines leading up to the primary election in June: Candidate filing officially begins January 9. State law gives candidates 60 days to file for office. Candidate filing closes March 10.

Regular voter registration ends May 5, the same day absentee ballots are to be mailed. Late registration begins on May 6 and runs all the way up to the primary on Tuesday, June 3.

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