BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former congressman and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday that he’s running for Montana’s newly awarded U.S. House seat.
Zinke told The Associated Press that he was running, a day after filing paperwork to organize a campaign committee.
Zinke, who said he maintains a friendship with former President Donald Trump, told AP that political division is the biggest problem facing the nation and he feels it’s his duty to run after spending the past two years in the private sector.
Montana's second House district was awarded this week to account for its population growth. Its boundaries have not been set, but the election is slated for November 2022.
Zinke is a former U.S. Navy Seal and was Montana’s lone U.S. House member from 2015 to 2017. He resigned from the Interior post amid investigations that he said were politically motivated.
Some of the investigations into Zinke concluded with no findings of wrongdoing but others remain unresolved. He said Friday there was “never any substance” to allegations that he misused the office.
Zinke will start his campaign with a listening tour and not take donations until making an official announcement at a later date, he said.