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Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signals Montana House bid

Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is taking steps to run for Congress again, signaling he'll seek the House seat his home state of Montana is gaining after the 2020 census.

Why it matters: Zinke held Montana's lone at-large congressional seat before joining the Trump administration. While he left Interior in 2018 under an ethical cloud, his high name ID and GOP bona fides will likely make him a formidable candidate.

The big picture: Zinke hasn't formally declared his candidacy, but on Thursday, he formed a new "Zinke for Congress" campaign committee.

  • The filing with the Federal Election Commission notes he plans to run next year in Montana's second congressional district.
  • While Zinke couldn't be immediately reached for comment, the new campaign committee uses the same treasurer and bank he used to mount his previous congressional bids.
  • Word of his likely candidacy was first reported by The Hill.

Between the lines: The House seat Zinke seeks doesn't yet exist. The task of drawing lines for Montana's two congressional districts will fall to a nonpartisan redistricting commission, later this year.

Background: Zinke, an ex-Navy SEAL, represented Montana in the House for just over two years before joining Trump's Cabinet.

  • Shortly after leaving the administration, he joined the lobbying firm Turnberry Solutions, run by a handful of Trump campaign veterans.

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