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Veteran Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy announces Senate run against vulnerable Montana Democrat: 'I've laid everything on the line for this country'

Image source: Twitter video, @SheehyforMT - Screenshot

Tim Sheehy has fought fires at homes, America's adversaries abroad, and for the heart of his Marine veteran wife. Now, it appears he's ready to fight for a consequential Senate seat in Big Sky Country that Republicans reckon is key to a 2024 majority.

"I’ve proudly fought for our country to defend our freedoms, and I’m once again answering the call to serve," Sheehy said in a statement. "I will fight to bring real leadership to Washington to save our country and protect our Montana way of life."

In March, Axios detailed efforts by Senate Republicans to bring Sheehy aboard in a Cincinnatian manner to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2024, noting that the former Navy SEAL and Army Ranger was "straight out of central casting."

Sheehy served in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, and the Pacific region and received both the Bronze Star with Valor for Heroism in Combat and the Purple Heart medal, reported Fox News Digital.

After serving 200 missions and being wounded, Sheehy retired from the Navy in 2014 and moved his family to Montana, where he founded Bridger Aerospace, an aerial firefighting company, along with its affiliate, Ascent Vision Technologies, which develops imaging systems for the defense and aerospace industry. AVT was acquired by CACI International in 2020 for $350 million.

The father of four also got into ranching in a big way during the pandemic, starting the Little Belt Cattle Company with fellow former Navy SEAL Greg Putnam. According to the Huffington Post, the company presently ranches around 30,000 private and leased acres and owns 2,000 cattle.

Sheehy is flush with cash, meaning he would be able to self-finance a campaign, reported Axios. That will come in handy, as he won't just have to take on Tester, whom he associates with "the Democratic Party’s agenda of inflation, open borders, criminals over cops, drugs and violence in our communities, and a woke culture impacting our classrooms and military bases." He will also have to take on fellow Republicans in the forthcoming primary.

A June 21 Public Policy Polling survey found that 64% of Montana Republicans wanted Rep. Matt Rosendale to be their Senate hopeful. Only 10% responded that they wanted Sheehy. However, PPP noted that this poll was conducted at a time when Sheehy had "basically no profile at all."

Rosendale, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, previously ran for the Senate in 2018 but lost to Tester by 3.5 points in the general election.

An ally for Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), the former Trump interior secretary who pinned Sheehy's Purple Heart to his chest in 2015, said, "If Tim were to get in the race, he would be formidable. He’d be a terrific opponent against Tester."

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines appear to have both given Sheehy their blessings.

"Tim Sheehy is a good friend, a successful businessman and a decorated veteran who served his country with honor and valor. Montana and our nation would be better for his continued public service, and I’m confident without a doubt he would serve Montana well as a senator," Gianforte told Axios.

Daines said, "Tim is a good friend and a great American."

"Whether it was in war or business, I see problems and solve them," Sheehy said in a statement. "I’m running for the U.S. Senate because our campaign is about service, duty, and country—not politics as usual."

The Republican candidate told Fox News Digital, "From inflation to our border to our deficit, America is ready for change. And I think it's time for a new generation of leaders to step up. ... Leaders who understand servant leadership, which is putting the mission before yourself, and leaders who understand how to get results."

"I think Americans are feeling underrepresented. They're tired of a government that they don't feel is working for them," continued Sheehy, adding that he would bring Montanans "commonsense government that runs like a business."

"Democrats made their blueprint for America incredibly clear during COVID, and that is more government, not less," Sheehy told Fox News Digital. "Jon Tester has been in lockstep with that vision his whole life. And now I think it's going to be hard for him to run away from that path because it's very clear."

But for Tester, Sheehy suggested that "the Democrat Party has left Montana. I think Montanans have always been socially conservative, hardworking people that have a mindset of accountability and get'er done."

The following are among the priorities listed in Sheehy's platform:

  • Secure the border, finish the wall, and end illegal immigration;
  • Repeal new "EPA job-killing energy regulations and mandates that the Democrats put on our economy that are driving up costs and preventing us from being energy independent";
  • Excise politics from the classroom and bolster parental rights, particularly in education;
  • Responsibly manage and utilize Montana's federal lands, generating jobs and resources;
  • Protect Second Amendment rights; and
  • Stand up for the unborn.

"Montanans can know that I've laid everything on the line for this country. I've been wounded in combat. I've led hundreds of missions and put it all on the line for all Americans, Republicans and Democrats," said Sheehy.

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