Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to seek a new term in Congress. He previously represented Montana’s only congressional district until leaving office to join the Trump administration — a job which he departed from in 2018, trailing a web of splashy travel-induced scandal and questionable business dealings.
The Hill first reported Zinke’s filing, which previews his plans to run after Montana was awarded a second congressional district when the 2020 Census Bureau announced the forthcoming distribution of each state’s apportionment earlier this week.
Zinke had previously represented Montana’s sole congressional district until he was tapped for the Cabinet position in former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Zinke resigned under pressure from that job in 2018 over a series of ethics investigations into his business and real estate dealings.
“After 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations,” he said at the time, denying any wrongdoing.
The former secretary had also come under scrutiny for opting to take expensive charter jets and private planes sometimes owned by oil-and-gas executives at high expense to taxpayers.
The Census Bureau said earlier this week that Montana qualified for a second district — although a commission has yet to draw boundary lines for the new district which the state had lost after the 1990 Census and reapportionment cycle.