U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., will announce later this week he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2012 for the seat held by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, a Washington, D.C., publication has reported.
Citing “a knowledgeable Montana GOP political operative,” Roll Call reported last night that Rehberg will make his announcement at Saturday’s Lincoln-Reagan dinner in Helena. Rehberg will be joined at the event by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, which the Montana congressman joined.
Other Washington publications have confirmed that Rehberg will run.
Rehberg, meanwhile, refused to confirm Tuesday that he would run for the Senate.
In a live television interview in Great Falls on “Montana This Morning” on KRTV, Rehberg was asked about reports he is running for the Senate.
“I’m just not ready to make a statement yet,” Rehberg said. “I’m still making phone calls, traveling around Montana, visiting with people and we hope to have some kind of a decision announced on Saturday.”
Later in the morning, Brian Barrett, spokesman for Rehberg for Congress, issued this statement:
“Denny has received a lot of support and encouragement to run for the United States Senate in 2012. He is weighing all of his options carefully and will announce his decision Saturday.”
Rehberg, a former lieutenant governor and state legislator, was easily re-elected in November to his sixth term in Congress. He lost a U.S. Senate challenge to Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in 1996.