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The Republican challenger to Tester emphasizes his outsider status in a Montana US Senate debate

Tim Sheehy talks about his campaign (Via Jim Moore/Getty Images)

Republican candidate Tim Sheehy, who moved to Montana to start a business, defended himself against criticism about newcomers like him raising property taxes in the state during the first debate against Democratic Senator Jon Tester. The Senate race is crucial as Republicans aim to regain control by gaining a few seats in the upcoming November election.

Senator Tester, seen as vulnerable in this election, labeled Sheehy as contributing to issues like housing shortages and increased taxes due to rising home values in Montana.

“We’ve had many people move here, many with money, who drive up housing costs,” Tester said. “Tim Sheehy isn’t helping; he’s part of the problem.”

Jon Tester (Via Jim Moore/Getty Images)

Sheehy countered by blaming Democrats for economic pressures faced by Montanans, criticizing Senator Tester and President Biden for not doing enough to control inflation.

“If you’re not from here, Jon Tester seems to think your voice doesn’t count,” Sheehy responded. “Creating jobs here was an honor for me.”

The debate highlighted how fiscal and economic issues could shape the election, as Republicans attempt to unseat Tester, a 67-year-old farmer and former state legislator from Big Sandy seeking his fourth Senate term.

Despite positive economic signs like job growth and low unemployment in Montana and nationwide, rising property taxes and other costs are sparking political tensions that could impact the election’s outcome.

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