Former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke won the Montana Republican primary as a candidate for the U.S. House.
The Trump-endorsed candidate faced a strong challenge by Al Olszewski, a former state senator, winning by 1,600 votes.
The open-seat race for Montana’s 1st Congressional District will be between Democratic candidate @MonicaTranel and Republican candidate @RyanZinke, the former interior secretary under the Trump administration.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 10, 2022
“Despite Trump’s endorsement, Zinke also faced a smear campaign over his military service from the extreme right-wing of his party and questions about his residency following revelations that his wife declared a house in California as her primary residence, qualifying her for a tax break,” the Associated Press reported.
“Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, was considered a de facto incumbent since he twice won elections for the state’s other House seat before stepping down in 2017 to join the Trump administration,” it added.
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has won an unexpectedly tight race to become the Republican nominee in the race for a new U.S. House seat representing western Montana. Zinke was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. https://t.co/Ac3GTYZPhe
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 10, 2022
“Zinke previously represented Montana’s at-large district from 2015-2017 until he joined the Trump administration,” Just the News stated.
“Tuesday’s election was the first for Montana to have two districts, which the state gained after the 2020 Census,” it noted.
BREAKING: Trump-endorsed Ryan Zinke wins Republican nomination for U.S. House in Montana’s 1st Congressional District pic.twitter.com/CLvbApkTmu
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) June 10, 2022
Zinke’s battle will continue in the November general election against Democrat Monica Tranel.
Tranel, an attorney and former Olympic rower, won her primary, offering her the opportunity to face Zinke in the general election.
The battle will continue to heat up, with Zinke continuing to push ahead to bring another House win to Republicans to flip it red in the midterms.