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Dem hit with $15 million border-related ad blitz in ‘toss-up’ Senate race

A conservative group is dropping $15.2 million on ads against Democrat Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, specifically highlighting border and immigration issues.

Sen. Jon Tester is the target of a new multi-million dollar ad blitz that highlights the vulnerable Montana Democrat's record on illegal immigration.

The $15.2 million statewide ad campaign financed by One Nation, which is closely aligned with Senate Republican leadership, is set to run until Sept. 2. The ads will reach voters through broadcast, cable and digital platforms. 

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The video, titled "Line," shows Tester speaking out against amnesty early in his Senate career before a more recent vote to provide a path to legal status and citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. The ad further notes the senator's votes to continue funding locales, such as New York City, that have sanctuary policies in place for illegal immigrants. 

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The advertisement urges viewers in Montana to push Tester to "stop supporting Biden's border disaster" and support the Republican-led border bill. The Secure the Border Act, which has been touted by Republicans in the House and Senate, would require that construction is resumed on the southern border wall, make asylum standards stricter, add more Border Patrol agents and bar the Department of Homeland Security from using its app to help illegal immigrants in the U.S., among other things. 

"The pro-illegal immigration policies Senator Jon Tester voted for led to the crisis at our Southern border," One Nation President and CEO Steven Law said. "Senator Tester has repeatedly voted to fund sanctuary cities and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. He even voted to allow President Biden to stop building the border wall. Senator Jon Tester needs to stop supporting President Biden’s border disaster." 

Tester's campaign, however, accused the group of distorting the senator's record, pointing to Tester's support for a controversial bipartisan border package negotiated in the Senate. That bill ultimately failed to advance due to opposition from influential conservative border hawks, including former President Donald Trump.

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"[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s dark money group is flooding Montana with millions of dollars to lie about Jon Tester’s record of fighting to pass one of the toughest border security bills in decades, cracking down on the fentanyl crisis, and his opposition to sanctuary cities," Tester's campaign countered in a statement.

The Montana Senate race is expected to be competitive and is rated a "Toss Up" by leading nonpartisan political handicapper The Cook Political Report. Tester's Republican opponent in November is likely to be former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, who is running in a largely uncontested primary. 

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As the border crisis emerges as a top issue for voters nationwide, including in Montana, Tester has been careful in his approach to legislative issues involving immigration or the border. Republican senators accused him last month of being unwilling to vote on immigration-related amendments ahead of the passage of the $1.2 trillion spending package. Tester and his office vehemently denied those claims. 

Tester is likely to face additional pressure in the coming weeks as the Senate takes up the House-passed articles of impeachment for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. The charges stem from his handling of the border crisis. Democrats are expected to use a maneuver to quickly dismiss the trial, rather than letting it play out. But getting the support of the entire caucus is crucial, as the Senate is narrowly divided, 51-48, in favor of the Democratic caucus.

Asked what Tester would be doing once the articles are delivered, a representative for the senator told Fox News Digital, "Senator Tester will review the articles when they are sent over to the Senate."

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., revealed last week his intention to deliver the articles to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on April 10. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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