More than $70 million spent in Montana US Senate race

December 10, 2018 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Final numbers show more than $70 million was spent in the U.S. Senate contest between Democratic incumbent Jon Tester and his Trump-backed challenger.

Tester secured a third term in the Nov. 6 election, defeating Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale to cap the most expensive political campaign in Montana history.

Including money spent in the June primary bumps the election’s total price tag to about $73 million.

About 60 percent of the spending was by political committees based outside Montana that were trying to tip the Senate’s balance of power. They saturated Montana’s airwaves with attack ads.

Tester’s campaign spent more than $20 million while Rosendale spent just over $5 million.

Outside spending and several visits from President Donald Trump kept the race competitive. Rosendale lost by about three percentage points.