GOP U.S. Senate candidate Murray drops out

Posted at 12:48 PM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 14:48:55-05

Belgrade business owner Ron Murray, a Republican who’s been running a low-profile campaign for the U.S. Senate, said Wednesday he’s dropping out of the race.

In a video posted on his campaign Facebook page, Murray said he’s been unable to raise much money to finance his effort.

“I’m a successful businessman, but I’m not rich, and I’ve talked about that time and time again,” he said. “Our dollars do not even come close to competing with even the next guy up from us.”

Murray got into the race last summer, for the GOP nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, but has been mostly overshadowed by better-financed or more widely known candidates.

Those include state Auditor Matt Rosendale, former state District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings, state Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell and Big Sky businessman Troy Downing.

All four of those candidates have paid their $1,740 filing fee and are officially in the race.

Murray said he’s endorsing Olszewski.

He also said it’s “absolutely absurd and insane” that millions of dollars are being poured into U.S. Senate campaigns, and that the media mostly pay attention to the candidates with money because the media benefits from their advertising.

Tester had more than $6 million in his campaign account as of last December and the four other GOP candidates have raised anywhere from $200,000 to $850,000 each – with Downing putting in $650,000 of his own money.