Posted: Nov 8, 2012 8:46 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Nov 8, 2012 8:47 AM
HELENA - It took some time, but eventually the news became official- Senator Jon Tester defeated Republican challenger Denny Rehberg in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 45%. Now he's headed back to Washington, DC for a second term.
So what's in store for Tester for the next six years?
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you very much. I've been waiting a long time to say this, it is over! I just want to say to my friends, my family and all Montanans, we did it!," Tester told a crowd Wednesday at a Great Falls hotel.
Tester took the lead over Rehberg as soon as results started trickling in, a scenario that didn't change. And on Wednesday morning the Democrat thanked Rehberg for a well fought race, and accepted his reelection to the U.S. Senate.
"It is an honor to accept your trust in sending a Montana farmer with Montana values back to the United States Senate," Tester said.
Now that the campaign work is over, Tester says there is a lot of work to be done back in Washington.
"The biggest challenge we have in front of us is the debt and deficit and how we are going to deal with it in the short-term and the long-term and in a responsible way. I look forward to working with folks to find some solutions because I think it's the most important issue facing our country," he said.
Tester says he will tackle the budget by working across the aisle and making sure Montanans have a seat at the table.
"I think it's gotta be a complete package it just can't be tax reform I think there has to be some cuts involved too with the tax reform. I think it's entirely possible when we come out of this thing to have a simpler tax code, one that's easier to understand, one that's more equitable, and one that's more fair, he explained.
Tester told us that his other priorities are getting his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act passed and creating a bridge between parties so Congress can get things done.