Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) on Sunday endorsed Montana Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock for president, after dodging questions for one month whether he would back the Democrat governor.
Sen. Tester announced Sunday that he endorsed Bullock for the Democrat presidential nomination, contending that Bullock could put “politics aside” as president and heal the partisan divide that separates our country.
Tester said in a statement to CBS News:
We need someone in the White House who wants to get dark money out of our campaigns and create opportunity in rural America. Someone with a track record of delivering jobs and healthcare, who has proven they can bridge the partisan divide. That’s why I am endorsing my friend, Governor Steve Bullock, to be our next President.
Bullock said he was “awfully excited” about Tester’s endorsement.
“I’ve known and worked with him for a long time now,” Bullock said, referring to Tester. “He’s also been such a voice in both rural areas, places that we need to win back, bridging some of the divides.”
When asked about his low polling numbers, Bullock suggested that he can help recapture rural Americans’ votes that have typically trended for the GOP. Bullock runs as governor in typically deep-red Montana.
I’ve led with a legislature that’s about 60% Republican, but we’ve been able to get progressive things done like getting dark money out of our elections and getting health care for 10% of my population, record investments in education,” he said. “So, look, the number one focus certainly is beating Donald Trump. But we also got to bridge some of the divides to make our economy and government work for folks outside of D.C. again.
Tester’s endorsement of Bullock comes roughly one month after the governor announced his candidacy for president.
Sen. Tester initially declined to endorse Bullock’s race for president, and instead suggested that Bullock should run for Senate against Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who is up for re-election in 2020.
“Well I will tell you that we need good people to run, and we will have a good person to run in Montana, somebody that has a fire in their belly and willing to do the sacrifice needed to do to win a Senate seat,” Tester said in May.
Look, Steve Bullock is a very good friend … He’s been a long time friend – and a good one. I’ve got a lot of good friends in this race cause there’s so many people running for president. And I would just tell you that I want to let things move out.
“We’re 18 months before the election and like I said I’ve got to work with all these folks so hopefully, we’ll get some policy done over the next six to eight months, next year and a half, and help move the country forward,” Tester added.