A Democratic senator key to the party’s majority won’t commit to running for re-election in 2024.
Sen. Jon Tester of Montana didn’t pledge to run in a Sunday interview on “Meet the Press.”
Tester made it clear he hadn’t made any decision about running for a fourth term.
EXCLUSIVE: @SenatorTester (D-Mont.) hasn’t made a decision about running for re-election in 2024.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 11, 2022
“It’ll be a discussion that I’ll have with my family over the holidays,” Tester said of his future plans, all while predicting that his electoral prospects should he run.
Tester predicted that he’d win a 2024 contest in the event he highlighted what he views as a track record of bipartisan accomplishments.
Republicans would be in a strong position to win Tester’s seat in the event he doesn’t run for re-election.
Tester won re-election as a two-term incumbent by less than 4 percent in 2018 — an election that saw overwhelming victories for Democrats.
It’s possible that Montana Democrats would look towards former governor Steve Bullock — himself a Democrat elected to statewide office — in a bid to keep a Senate seat in the strongly conservative state.
Tester’s potential retirement would make the 2024 election even more difficult to Democrats — as the party faces a challenging national map in the Senate.
Democrats are set to defend 23 Senate seats in the next election, according to The Washington Post.
The GOP will defend 11 seats, less than half of the Democrats’ task.
Several of the seats Democrats are slated to defend are in red states such as West Virginia, Montana and Ohio.
Other vulnerable Democratic senators are up for re-election in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
Democrats have a thin majority of 50 seats in the Senate, including three independents who caucus with the Democratic Party.
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced her departure from the Democratic Party last week, although she’ll continue to caucus with Democrats.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.