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Matt Rosendale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matt Rosendale
Official portrait, 2021
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byGreg Gianforte
ConstituencyAt-large district (2021–2023)
2nd district (2023–present)
Auditor of Montana
In office
January 2, 2017 – January 3, 2021
GovernorSteve Bullock
Preceded byMonica Lindeen
Succeeded byTroy Downing
Member of the Montana Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 7, 2013 – January 2, 2017
Preceded byJohn Brenden
Succeeded bySteve Hinebauch
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 38th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 7, 2013
Preceded byDennis Getz
Succeeded byAlan Doane
Personal details
Matthew Martin Rosendale

(1960-07-07) July 7, 1960 (age 63)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Jean Rosendale
(m. 1985)
Children3, including Adam
EducationQueen Anne's County High School
Cursive signature in ink
WebsiteHouse website

Matthew Martin Rosendale Sr. (born July 7, 1960) is an American politician. A Republican, Rosendale represents Montana's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. Rosendale served in the Montana House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, and in the Montana Senate from 2013 to 2017. From 2015 to 2017, he served as Senate majority leader. Rosendale was elected Montana state auditor in 2016 and held that position from 2017 to 2020. Rosendale ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and for the U.S. Senate in 2018. He was elected to represent Montana's at-large congressional district in 2020. After Montana regained its second House seat in the 2020 census, Rosendale was elected to represent the new 2nd congressional district in 2022.

On February 9, 2024, he announced his candidacy for 2024 United States Senate election in Montana, looking to challenge Jon Tester again.[1] Less than a week later, on February 15, 2024, Rosendale ended his campaign after Donald Trump endorsed his opponent Tim Sheehy in the Republican primary.[2] Rosendale chose to run for reelection to his House seat, but withdrew from that race as well in March 2024.[3]

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Early life and early career

Rosendale was born on July 7, 1960 in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Queen Anne's County High School in Centreville, Maryland, in 1978.[4] Rosendale attended Chesapeake College in Maryland[5] but did not graduate.[6]

Rosendale worked in Maryland in the fields of real estate development and land management before moving with his family to Glendive, Montana in 2002.[7][8] In Montana, he was twice elected chairman of the Glendive Agri-Trade Expo committee,[9] a local group that puts on an agriculture exposition showcasing agri-business in eastern Montana.[10]

Political career

Montana House of Representatives

Rosendale served one two-year term in the Montana House of Representatives.[4][11]

Rosendale announced he would run for the Montana House of Representatives[12] to represent House District 38, which covers Wibaux and part of Dawson County. Also seeking the Republican nomination were Edward Hilbert and Alan Doane. Rosendale prevailed, receiving 48.4% of the vote to Doane's 41.3% and Hilbert's 10.4%.[13]

Rosendale defeated Democratic incumbent State Representative Dennis Getz in the general election, with 52.7% of the vote to Getz's 47.3%.[14]

During the 2011 legislative session, Rosendale served on several committees, including the Business and Labor Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Local Government Committee.[15]

Montana Senate

Rosendale served one four-year term in the Montana Senate[15] from 2013 to 2017.[4] From 2015 to 2017, he served as majority leader.[4][11]

In 2012, with state senator Donald Steinbeisser ineligible for reelection due to term limits,[16] Rosendale announced he would run for the Montana Senate to represent Senate District 19, a heavily Republican district in eastern Montana.[17]

After running unopposed in the Republican primary,[18] Rosendale defeated Democratic nominee Fred Lake in the general election, with 67.6% of the vote to Lake's 32.4%.[19]

During the 2013 legislative session, Rosendale served as vice chair of the Natural Resources and Transportation Committee. He also served on the Finance and Claims Committee, the Highways and Transportation Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.[15] During this legislative session, Rosendale was the primary sponsor of a resolution urging Congress to submit a balanced budget amendment to states.[20] He also was the primary sponsor of a bill that became law to prevent law enforcement from using drones for surveillance purposes.[21]

Due to state redistricting in 2014, Rosendale represented Senate District 18 for the rest of his tenure, starting in 2015.[22] At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Rosendale's colleagues in the State Senate elected him to serve as majority leader.[11] He also chaired the Rules Committee and was a member of the Finance and Claims Committee and Natural Resources and Transportation Committee.[15] Rosendale was the primary sponsor of a bill to authorize direct primary care provider plans that passed the legislature before being vetoed by Governor Steve Bullock.[23]

Montana State Auditor


Rosendale ran for Montana State Auditor in 2016, when incumbent Monica Lindeen was ineligible for reelection due to term limits.[24][25]

Rosendale ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[26] In the general election, he faced Jesse Laslovich,[27] who was Lindeen's chief legal counsel and widely considered one of Montana's rising political stars.[28]

Rosendale defeated Laslovich with 53.6% of the vote to Laslovich's 46.4%.[29] At the time, this was the most expensive state auditor's race in Montana state history.


Rosendale served as Montana state auditor from 2017 to 2020.[4] As state auditor, Rosendale approved direct primary care agreements[23] and authorized Medi-Share to operate in Montana.[30] Medi-Share, a health care sharing ministry which asks members of a religious faith to pool money together to cover their health care costs, had previously been banned from operating in Montana after the company refused to cover a member's medical bills. In authorizing Medi-Share to operate in Montana, Rosendale determined that the company did not qualify as an insurer and had no obligation to pay subscribers' bills.[31]

Rosendale refused to accept a pay raise, taking an annual salary of $92,236.[32]

As state auditor, Rosendale was also one of five members of the Montana State Land Board, which oversees the 5.2 million acres in the state trust land.[33] As a member of the Montana State Land Board, Rosendale voted to expand access to over 45,000 acres (18,000 ha) of public land.[34]

In 2017, Rosendale proposed legislation that would create a reinsurance program so that individuals with preexisting conditions could access affordable health coverage. This legislation passed both houses of the legislature before being vetoed by Governor Steve Bullock.[35] Rosendale condemned Bullock's veto, saying, "the governor has sacrificed good, bipartisan policy in favor of bad, partisan politics."[36] Rosendale then worked with a bipartisan group of Montana officials to create a reinsurance program and were granted a waiver to do so by the federal government.[37] The program is now operational.[38]

In 2019, Rosendale proposed legislation targeting pharmacy benefits managers and a practice known as spread pricing.[39] The legislation passed both houses of the legislature[40] before being vetoed by Bullock, who wrote in his veto message that the bill would cause drug prices to increase.[41] Rosendale again condemned Bullock, saying his veto "is a gift to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and it's a slap in the face to consumers."[42]

U.S. House of Representatives

2014 election

In 2013, incumbent representative Steve Daines announced that he would not seek reelection and would instead run for the United States Senate.[43] Rosendale then announced his candidacy to succeed Daines in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to Rosendale, the Republican field included former state senators Ryan Zinke and Corey Stapleton, state representative Elsie Arntzen, and real estate investor Drew Turiano.[44]

Rosendale came in third place with 28.8% of the vote, behind Zinke's 33.3% and Stapleton's 29.3%. Arntzen and Turiano received 6.9% and 1.7%, respectively.[45]

2020 election

In June 2019, Representative Greg Gianforte announced that he would not seek reelection and would instead run for governor to replace term-limited governor Steve Bullock.[46] Days later, Rosendale announced he would run for the open seat.[47]

Rosendale received the early endorsement of President Donald Trump.[48] He also received early endorsements from elected officials around the country, including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Representative Jim Jordan,[49] as well as the endorsement of the Crow Tribe of Montana.[50] He won the six-way Republican primary with 48.3% of the vote, carrying every county.[51]

Rosendale defeated Democratic nominee Kathleen Williams in the general election in November, with 56.4% of the vote to her 43.6%.[52]

2022 election

As a result of the 2020 census and redistricting cycle, Montana regained a congressional district having had a single at-large district since 1993.[53][54][55] Rosendale ran for reelection in the reconstituted second district,[56] which covers the eastern two-thirds of the state and includes Billings, Great Falls, and Helena.[57]

Rosendale again received Trump's endorsement[58] and won the 2022 Republican primary in the second district.[59] He won the general election with 56.6% of the vote to Independent Gary Buchanan's 22.0% and Democrat Penny Ronning's 20.1%.[60][61]


Rosendale was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives on January 3, 2021.[62]

Along with all other Senate and House Republicans, Rosendale voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[63]

In June 2021, Rosendale was among 21 House Republicans to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6.[64] Also in June 2021, he was among 14 House Republicans to vote against passing legislation to establish June 19, or Juneteenth, as a federal holiday.[65]

In July 2021, Rosendale voted against the bipartisan ALLIES Act, which would increase by 8,000 the number of special immigrant visas for Afghan allies of the U.S. military during its invasion of Afghanistan, while also reducing some application requirements that caused long application backlogs; the bill passed in the House 407–16.[66]

Rosendale supported a ban on members of Congress trading stocks.[67][68]

Rosendale was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[69]

In June 2021, Rosendale was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.[70][71]

In September 2021, Rosendale was among 75 House Republicans to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022, which contains a provision that would require women to be drafted.[72][73] He was among 19 House Republicans to vote against the final passage of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.[74]

In November 2021, Rosendale was one of six House Republicans to vote against the RENACER Act, which extended U.S. sanctions against Nicaragua and granted the president several ways to address acts of corruption and human rights violations by the Daniel Ortega administration, including the power to exclude Nicaragua from the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and to obstruct multilateral loans to the country.[75][76]

Rosendale issued a statement in opposition to intervention in Ukraine during the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis.[77] Later, he sponsored the Secure America's Border First Act, which would prohibit the expenditure or obligation of military and security assistance to Kyiv over the U.S. border with Mexico.[78]

On March 2, 2022, Rosendale was one of only three House members to vote against a resolution supporting the sovereignty of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.[79]

In 2022, Rosendale voted against a bill that would provide approximately $14 billion to the government of Ukraine.[80][81]

In July 2022, Rosendale was one of 18 Republicans to vote against ratifying Sweden's and Finland's applications for NATO membership.[82]

In March 2023, Rosendale was among 47 Republicans to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[83][84]

On March 1, 2023, Rosendale posed for a photo in front of the United States Capitol with a former member of a white supremacist gang and a Nazi sympathizer.[85] Rosendale later affirmed his opposition to hate groups and stated that he did not know the two individuals or their affiliations when he was photographed with them.[86][87]

On October 3, 2023, Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate the House speakership of California Republican Kevin McCarthy. The measure prevailed as 216 were in favor and 210 opposed.[88] It was the first time ever the House of Representatives had removed its speaker from office. All voting House Democrats plus Rosendale and seven other Republicans cast votes for his removal.[89]

On March 19, 2024, Rosendale voted NAY to House Resolution 149 Condemning the illegal abduction and forcible transfer of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation. He was one of nine Republicans to do so.[90]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

U.S. Senate

2018 election

In 2017, Rosendale announced he would seek the Republican nomination to challenge two-term incumbent Democratic senator Jon Tester.[92]

In a competitive four-way primary, Rosendale faced district judge Russell Fagg, state senator Al Olszewski, and combat veteran Troy Downing.[12] Rosendale won the Republican primary with 33.8% of the vote to Fagg's 28.3%, Downing's 19.1% and Olszewski's 18.7%.[93]

After the primary, Rosendale was endorsed by President Donald Trump[94] and Vice President Mike Pence.[95] Trump visited the state to campaign for Rosendale four times,[96] while Pence visited three times.[97]

During his 2018 campaign, Rosendale faced criticism for repeatedly presenting himself as a "rancher" in interviews and campaign materials despite owning no cattle or a cattle brand according to public records.[98] Critics labelled Rosendale "all hat, no cattle". Rosendale, who bought a $2 million ranch near Glendive when he moved to Montana in 2002, said he leased his land and helps run cattle on it.[99] Rosendale later removed the "rancher" label from bios on his website and social media accounts.[100]

Polls showed the race in a statistical tie going into Election Day,[101] in what was the most expensive election in Montana history, with more than $70 million spent between the two sides.[102] Tester's campaign had a huge cash advantage, raising and spending $21 million to Rosendale's $6 million.[103]

In the general election, Tester won 50.3% of the vote to Rosendale's 46.8%, with Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge taking 2.9%.[104]

2024 election

In August 2023, Politico reported that Rosendale was "moving closer" to running for U.S. Senate in 2024.[105] He officially entered the race on February 9, 2024; Trump endorsed a different candidate hours later, and Rosendale dropped out a week later.[1][106]

Shortly after Rosendale dropped out of the race, Heidi Heitkamp, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, alleged on an episode of the "Talking Feds" podcast that Rosendale may have impregnated a 20-year-old staffer, and would likely resign from the House as a result. Ron Kovach, a Rosendale spokesman, rejected the accusation as false and defamatory, and stated that Heitkamp would be the target of legal action.[107][108] On March 8, 2024, Rosendale announced that he would also not run for reelection to his House seat, saying that "defamatory rumors" and alleged death threats had impeded his ability to serve.[109]

Personal life

Rosendale and his wife Jean reside on a ranch north of Glendive.[110] They have three adult children.[111] Their son, Adam Rosendale, served briefly in the Montana Legislature in 2017.[112]

Rosendale has served as head of his local Catholic parish council.[9]

Electoral history


2010 Montana's 38th House district election[113]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Rosendale 1,932 52.7
Democratic Dennis Getz (incumbent) 1,735 47.3
Total votes 3,667 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic


2012 Montana's 19th Senate district election[114]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Rosendale 5,929 67.6
Democratic Fred Lake 2,842 32.4
Total votes 8,771 100.0


2014 Republican primary for Montana's at-large congressional district[115]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ryan Zinke 43,766 33.3
Republican Corey Stapleton 38,591 29.3
Republican Matt Rosendale 37,965 28.8
Republican Elsie Arntzen 9,011 6.9
Republican Drew Turiano 2,290 1.7
Total votes 131,623 100.0


2016 Montana State Auditor election[116]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Rosendale 256,378 53.6
Democratic Jesse Laslovich 221,551 46.4
Total votes 477,929 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic


2018 United States Senate Republican primary in Montana[117]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Rosendale 51,859 33.8%
Republican Russ Fagg 43,465 28.3%
Republican Troy Downing 29,341 19.1%
Republican Al Olszewski 28,681 18.7%
Total votes 153,346 100.00%


2020 Republican primary for Montana's at-large congressional district[118]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Rosendale 104,286 48.3
Republican Corey Stapleton 71,593 33.2
Republican Debra Lamm 14,418 6.7
Republican Joe Dooling 13,689 6.3
Republican Mark McGinley 7,790 3.6
Republican John Evankovich 3,965 1.8
Total votes 215,471 100.0


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External links

Political offices
Preceded by Auditor of Montana
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Montana
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Tim Sheehy
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
District eliminated
Preceded by
District established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
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