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The Dude abides: "Big Lebowski" star stumps for Montana Dems

| September 22, 2020 12:00 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Democrats are rolling out "The Dude" again as they seek to burnish the party's November ticket with some star power and counter GOP heavyweights such as Vice President Mike Pence.

Actor Jeff Bridges, who played The Dude on the cult-classic film "The Big Lebowski" was slated to hold a virtual campaign kickoff event Tuesday with U.S. Senate hopeful Gov. Steve Bullock and other Democratic candidates.

Bridges, who has a house near Livingston, Montana, has emerged as a fixture of the campaign season in recent years. He campaigned for Bullock in 2016 and for Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018, when Trump took a personal interest in defeating Tester and visited the state four times to campaign on behalf of Republican Matt Rosendale.

Tester won.

Bridges' return this year underscores how Montana Democrats remain eager to distance themselves from national figures in their party in hopes of appealing to centrists, in a state that Trump won by 20 percentage points on his way to a first term.

Pence appeared last week at a rally in Belgrade to support Bullock's opponent, first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines. Trump also is expected to visit on Daines' behalf prior to the election.