Emerging GOP candidate, combat veteran enters race for Montana congressional seat held by Matt Rosendale

FIRST ON FOX: State Auditor Troy Downing is entering the race for Montana’s 2nd Congressional District — a seat currently held by Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.

“This country has been very good to me. I have fought for this country, I have gone to war for this country, I’ve built businesses in this country, and I have an opportunity right now to fight against an administration that’s tearing it down,” Downing told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview announcing his campaign. 

Founder of a tech startup that merged with Yahoo, the Montana Republican was an educator at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University before joining the United States Air Force and Air National Guard after 9/11.

“I understand the repercussions of what it means to go to war, what it means to send people to war,” Downing said. “Again, this country is worth fighting for. I have no regrets from that, and I’m very proud of my military service. It’s a big part of me and continues to be a part of me.”


The newly announced congressional candidate went into the Air Force and the Air National Guard following the September 11 terrorist attacks. He also went into a combat search and rescue squadron and served overseas in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The Biden administration has been horrible to the United States, and we need to start focusing on things that are good for Americans, good for Montanans,” Downing told Fox. “We need to secure our borders. We need to strengthen our military, get woke out of our military.”

When asked why he was running for the congressional seat, Downing cited issues such as strengthening the military, securing the southern border, and bringing down the deficit, but emphasized his mission “to fight back.”


“I’m somebody that has planned a war. I’ve built businesses. I have created jobs. I’ve seen the front side of a check. And I think we need representation in DC that has that experience,” he said. “I’ve got something to give. This country is worth it to me. I fought for her before and I need to fight back at what is being whittled away.”

Downing is so far the first Republican to enter into the GOP primary for the Montana district, but faces potential primary challengers for the red seat. 

Incumbent Rosendale has long considered a bid for Montana’s Senate seat — currently held by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester — but has not yet announced a run for either the statewide position or re-election in his current congressional seat eyed by Downing.

Despite potentially challenging Rosendale in the GOP primary, Downing said he’s “going to win this.”

“I think that the Eastern District of Montana is looking for conservative representation. I am that person,” Downing told Fox. “I’ve showed up every day. We have to put bad guys in jail. We protected Montanans. We protected Montana’s seniors. We’ve done everything that we’re supposed to do in this office. And I believe in terms of looking at my experience and my track record, that I’m going to win this.”

Downing said that he believes the most important issues to Montana voters is government spending and the open southern border — issues he wishes to address as eastern Montana’s “conservative champion in D.C.”

Downing has served as the state auditor in Montana since 2020, when he won by nearly 100,000 votes. Rosendale held the same position before he ran for congress.

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