Update: Rick Breckenridge has since backed away from his previous endorsement of Republican nominee Matt Rosendale.
President Donald Trump has campaigned heavily in Montana for Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendal and praised him to the crowd. Now, Rosendale has an unexpected ally in the tight Senate race.
Even though Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge, “who has no chance of winning the race,” according to Fox News, could still pull some votes, he has dropped out of the race to support Rosendale after some “dirty tricks” were played, apparently to benefit incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
When Breckenridge saw an illegal and anonymous campaign mailer that smeared Rosendale in order to throw more votes his way, he took the unprecedented action. Fox News reported that the mailer claimed that “Matt Rosendale wants to use drones and patrols to spy on our private lives.”
It added that “Rick Breckenridge is a true conservative and opposes government intrusion into Montanans’ private lives.”
Breckenridge told The Associated Press why he took the action that he did.
“The reality is I’m only going to get 3 or 4 percent of the vote, and he (Rosendale) has the character to combat this issue,” Breckenridge said, according to the AP. “I’m standing in unity and solidarity with Matt to combat dark money in politics.”
The mailer violated state and federal law because it didn’t identify who paid for it, according to Fox. Although the party responsible for the mailer is unknown, it is similar to one sent out in 2012. That mailer helped Tester win by shifting enough votes to the Libertarian candidate to help the Democrat win, according to Fox News.
What Breckenridge did is the epitome of class and integrity. Rather than help sink his GOP competitor, he saw what was going on and refused to be used or help the Democrat win, again, with such a tactic.
The Libertarian candidate in #Montana‘s U.S. Senate race has thrown his support behind Republican Matt Rosendale in response to an election mailer from an unknown group that appears aimed at undermining Rosendale’s support among conservatives. https://t.co/gGUwJLqBkV pic.twitter.com/iIuRNU5Mlo
— Missoulian (@missoulian) October 31, 2018
His decision got a lot of praise on social media. Some was specific to getting rid of Democrats in office.
If @LPNational and @GOP joined forces it would only take a few election cycles before the @DNC was no more relevant than the Green Party and then the Libertarians could fill the void left by the Democrats. #midterms https://t.co/fOGq7TILKm
— Chad Andrews (@MoreThanWeSeem) November 1, 2018
— rats4america (@rats4america) November 1, 2018
“Good. This is not the year for any third party candidates to take votes away from Republicans. Too much at stake in a tight race.” https://t.co/cAHEqlaaem
— Maynie Kuo (@chattymaynie) November 1, 2018
Breitbart wrote that during a conference call, Breckenridge reaffirmed his support for Rosendale. “I am here today to support Matt and endorse him in his continued efforts to be the front man in the cause of liberty.”
Rosendale released a statement thanking Breckenridge for his support. “I am honored to have the endorsement of Rick Breckenridge. I share his concerns with veterans issues and access to health care, and the need to limit the role of government in our lives.”
He added, “Rick is one of the most honest and principled men I’ve come to know, and I appreciate the Republican and Libertarian parties unifying in Montana to defeat Jon Tester this November.”
According to The Associated Press, Montana Libertarian Party Chairman Francis Wendt said the party cannot officially endorse Rosendale “because he’s from another party and lacks a strong enough stance on privacy issues.”
At this point, the race could be won by either party. According to Newsweek, a Nov. 1 Harris Interactive poll had Tester up by 7 points. Another poll that concluded Oct. 26 had Tester up by only 3.
In such a tight race, anything could happen, but the Libertarian candidate drooping out and publicly endorsing the GOP candidate, and explaining why, could make all the difference in the world.
Even without the official Libertarian party support.
Be sure to check out The Western Journal’s election night coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
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