With Trump in Montana, Sen. Jon Tester turns to ‘The Dude’

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale has President Donald Trump and other big-name Republicans surrounding him on the campaign trail.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester? He’s got “The Dude.”

Arguably the best-known figure to appear on Tester’s behalf this election season has been actor Jeff Bridges, a part-time Montana resident who played The Dude in the cult classic film “The Big Lebowski.”

It reflects a calculation made by some Democrats to distance themselves from mainstream party figures and appeal to more centrist voters.

That strategy is being tested by Trump’s determination to cement Republican control of the Senate and oust vulnerable Democrats in Montana, Arizona and elsewhere.

Trump plans visit the state for an unprecedented fourth time Saturday. He targeted Tester for defeat after the Democrat derailed his first nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary.

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