Montana congressman Ryan Zinke selected as interior secretary

In this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo, Rep. Ryan Zinke, right, R-Mont., President-elect Donald Trump's choice for interior secretary, arrives at Trump Tower, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has officially chosen Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to serve as his interior secretary.

Zinke was an early supporter of Trump’s and publicly sought a Cabinet post when Trump visited Montana in May.

Trump’s decision to tap Zinke for interior upends Senate Republican plans of recruiting the congressman to challenge two-term Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.

As Montana’s at-large representative, Zinke has proven he can win statewide, and the GOP considered Tester vulnerable in the midterms.

As with several other Trump Cabinet nominees, Zinke has advocated for increased energy drilling and mining on public lands and expressed skepticism about the urgency of climate change.

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