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Briefs: National opioid settlement; Tester's campaign funding outpaces challengers

Sen. Jon Tester
Freddy Monares
Sen. Jon Tester

Montana will receive over $1 million from a national opioid settlement

Montana Public Radio | By Najifa Farahat

Montana will receive more than $1 million from a new national opioid settlement.

Montana's Attorney General’s Office announced the settlement last week against Publicis Health, a French advertising firm.

Publicis agreed to pay $350 million to settle accusations that it helped Purdue Pharma falsely market OxyContin as safe.

Montana, and other states, will be able to use that money to help those impacted by the opioid crisis, from treatment services to building needed infrastructure.

Montana also received $80 million from another national settlement with three major pharmaceutical distributors in 2022. KFF Health News reported thatstate agencies have not distributed most of that funding.

Sen. Tester's campaign fundraising surpasses Republicans seeking to challenge him

Montana Public Radio | By Shaylee Ragar

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign fundraising is outpacing all Republicans seeking to challenge him.

Tester raised $5.5 million in the final quarter of 2023. He has $11 million on hand.

Republican Tim Sheehy, a former Navy Seal and Bozeman business owner, raised $2.5 million in the same time period, with about $1.3 million left on hand. Former Public Service Commissioner Brad Johnson raised about $22,000.

Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale, who represents eastern Montana in the House, said he’s heavily considering a run against Tester, but has yet to officially announce a campaign. He raised $98,000 at the end of last year and has $1.6 million in the bank.

Montana’s U.S. Senate race is expected to draw tens of millions more in outside spending. NBC News reported that two Republican-aligned super PACS have reserved about $50 million in advertising next fall against Tester, which will benefit whoever wins Montana’s Republican primary. Politico reported a PAC backing Democrats in the U.S. Senate plans to spend $27 million to support Tester.

The race could decide which party controls the upper chamber.

Copyright 2024 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Najifa Farhat
Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.