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Montana Libertarian Rick Breckenridge Drops Out: Endorses GOP’s Matt Rosendale For U.S. Senate

Libertarian Rick Breckenridge withdrew from Montana’s U.S. Senate race on Wednesday and threw his support behind Republican candidate Matt Rosendale, potentially handing the GOP the tightly contested Montana seat in the U.S. Senate currently occupied by liberal Democrat Jon Tester.

According to Phil Drake of the Great Falls Tribune, Mr. Breckenridge said he was standing up against “dark Breckenridge Rosendalemoney” in politics.

Mr. Breckenridge said he was angry about a recent anonymous campaign mailer that said if Rosendale were elected, it would lead to more government surveillance and that voters should cast votes for Breckenridge instead reported Phil Drake.

"Matt Rosendale wants to use drones and patrols to spy on our private lives," the mailer reads according to Drake’s report. "Rick Breckenridge is a true conservative and opposes government intrusion into Montanans' private lives."

Mr. Drake reports GOP officials said there were no names attached to the mailer, which arrived in mailboxes Tuesday, nor was it known how many were sent out. The lack of a name is a violation of state and federal election laws.

Mr. Breckenridge told Drake he expected to get 3 percent to 4 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, which includes Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, and that his campaign has spent about $3,000.

“I can’t compete with $50 million Madison Avenue campaign pieces,” he said.

"I am here to support Matt and his candidacy,” Mr. Breckenridge, a surveyor, said during the news conference reported by Phil Drake of the Great Falls Tribune. “And to support him in the continuing effort to be the front man in the cause of liberty.”

Rosendale thanked Breckenridge.

"I am honored to have endorsement of Rick Breckenridge," Rosendale said according to Phil Drake’s reporting. "I really appreciate him in joining me in (condemning) a dark money mailer that" he said was distributed by allies of Tester.

Reached after the news conference, Mr. Breckenridge told the Tribune he was a “realist” about his chances of winning and what pulling from the race meant.

“This isn’t the Alamo, this isn’t Custer’s Last Stand. I will live to fight another day,” he is reported to have said. “I am a victim in this dark money campaign and as a victim you sometimes have to expose yourself to an uncomfortable reality.”

Mr. Breckenridge said his decision would likely impact about 1 percent of the vote and noted most people have probably voted already by absentee ballot.

"I am making a stand above and beyond my personal desires," he said according to Phil Drake’s reporting.

Social media was quick to respond with approval of Mr. Breckenridge’s decision to leave the campaign and endorse Matt Rosendale.

Twitter user Gabe Cordoba @GabeCordoba911 tweeted:

That’s a class act!

Twitter user Terrence Kaliner @TerryKalUSMC tweeted:

Great news that he can act in a very courageous way for the good of the nation. Rick Breckinridge is owed a debt of gratitude for his actions today by all of the people. @realDonaldTrump here is a true patriot for America.

And Cottage Life @LifeCottage tweeted:

This is great news! Democrats think independents and libertarians want socialism! No we all want Capitalism

CB ❌ @CrisB_13 tweeted:

Beautiful! That is loving your Country more than your pride!

However, as positive as the social media reaction was, it wasn’t all positive, with self-identified Progressive @apetty77 tweeting:

My money is still on @SenatorTester

Others noted that there are already 242,000 votes in and speculated that Mr. Breckenridge’s withdrawal would have little impact on the race.

Unfortunately, Mr. Breckenridge’s name will still appear on the ballot, offering those dissatisfied with the GOP an outlet for a protest vote. With less than a week to go before Election Day we urge our Libertarian friends in Montana who have not yet voted to join Rick Breckenridge in supporting Republican Matt Rosendale for United States Senate.

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