HELENA – Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee for president in 2008, will be in Montana this month to help Rep. Denny Rehberg raise money for his challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
McCain will be the main attraction at an Aug. 17 fundraiser in Great Falls and plans some additional events with Rehberg in the Great Falls area, with an emphasis on defense issues, the Rehberg campaign said.
McCain is a decorated Navy pilot who spent six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
McCain lost the 2008 election to President Barack Obama but narrowly won Montana that year, although he didn’t personally campaign in the state. McCain carried the state with 49.7 percent of the vote, compared with Obama’s 47.4 percent.
“Folks in Montana, who chose John McCain over President Obama in the last presidential election, appreciate Senator McCain’s record of heroic service on behalf of our country and respect his deep knowledge of key issues like our national defense,” said Rehberg campaign spokesman Chris Bond.
The fundraiser at the Hilton Garden Inn is $150 per couple. Those wishing to be part of the “host committee” will pay $2,500, which includes a roundtable discussion, dinner, a reception and photographs with McCain and Rehberg. Attendees also can pay $1,000 to go to the reception, which includes photo and dinner, or $500 for a photo and dinner.
Rehberg, a six-term Republican congressman, is challenging Tester, a first-term senator, in one of the nation’s most-watched U.S. Senate contests. The race is considered a toss-up and could determine party control of the Senate. Libertarian Dan Cox of Hamilton also is in the race.
The fundraiser won’t be open to the media, but McCain and Rehberg are planning two public events earlier in the day, Bond said. Details of those events have yet to made final, he said, although they will focus on jobs and veterans’ issues.
McCain also will be speaking at the fundraising dinner.
McCain isn’t the first prominent Republican to come to Montana for a fundraiser on Rehberg’s behalf. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has a summer home in Montana, also appeared at an event this year.