BILLINGS – Members of the National Border Patrol Council gathered Friday at the United Association Labor Hall in Billings with Sen. Jon Tester to announce their endorsement for his re-election.
Brandon Judd, the Malta-based president of the National Border Patrol Council, told members of the media their union is traditionally conservative but at times does support Democrats such as Tester.
Judd said they look for those who can bridge the political gap. He said Tester is someone who’s unafraid to cross party lines and work to get a job done.
During the press conference, Tester said he will remain compassionate about immigration while fighting for stronger border security measures.
Judd said Tester specifically secured funding for properly working radios for border agents to use at the U.S.-Canada border, something Judd said they’ve never had in the past.
The union also endorsed President DonaldTrump, a Republican, in 2016 because of his stance on the wall and securing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tester told reporters he did ask for an endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council.
When asked if his challenger for the upcoming November general election, Republican Matt Rosendale, also asked for an endorsement from the border patrol union, Judd said no.
Judd said if Rosendale’s campaign had reached out for the endorsement their choice would still be Tester.
Members of the National Border Patrol Council do not actively seek candidates to endorse. Instead, they let candidates approach them for endorsements.
In response, Rosendale’s campaign provided a statement Friday afternoon criticizing Tester’s stance on borders.
“Once again, Jon Tester does one thing in Montana but votes the other way back in Washington. Tester may talk tough on border security but he’s actively stood against President Trump’s efforts to secure our borders. Tester condemned President Trump’s border wall, voted multiple times to protect sanctuary cities, supports catch and release, and wants to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Jon Tester’s prioritizing the needs of illegal immigrants – not fighting for stronger borders,” said Shane Scanlon, a Rosendale spokesman.