A loan-some race: Expensive U.S. House campaigns see lots of self-funding

With voting less than a month away, several Republican candidates for Montana’s eastern U.S. House district have that BLE — or big loan energy.

Billings Republican Elsie Arntzen reports giving her second campaign for U.S. House a $700,000 loan, which is the most self-financing reported by eight Republicans and four Democrats running to replace incumbent Rep. Matt Rosendale. First elected to the House in 2020, Rosendale isn’t seeking reelection.

Arntzen, Montana’s current Superintendent of Public Instruction reported just under $800,000 in receipts since becoming a candidate and $368,847 cash on hand. Arntzen’s individual contributions totaled $99,283. Voting starts May 6 and ends June 4.

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Troy Downing, currently Montana State Auditor, reported loans of $350,000 since the start of the campaign, both sourced to himself, but one from “personal funds.” Downing had $955,000 in total receipts and $552,662 in individual contributions.

Former U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, who didn’t enter the race until February, disclosed a $300,000 loan to himself, accounting for most of his $379,839 in receipts. Rehberg has spent only $7,386.

A fourth Republican to report more than $100,000 in

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