U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) will skip the Republican National Convention in August to focus on his Senate campaign against incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), his campaign told the Hill on Monday. Rehberg said he hopes to brand himself as an independent Republican who puts state issues before partisanship.

Rehberg is among the first Republicans to announce he's skipping his party's convention in Tampa, Fla. Several Democrats, including Tester, will miss their party's conventionin Charlotte, N.C.. Other Democrats not attending include Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.), and three West Virginians: Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and Rep. Nick Rahall.

Rehberg's campaign in Republican-leaning Montana for a Senate seat in a state with two Democratic senators, Tester and Max Baucus, will be no easy feat. Rehberg has a history of pushing against the establishment, coming out against the economic bailouts of 2008, President Barack Obama's health care reform in 2010, and Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

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Hartman Files As Independent Candidate For Tim Johnson's House Seat [KOAM]

Tom Corbett's Low Favorability May Not Be A Bad Thing After All [Philly.com]

6-Way House GOP Primary In Iowa Goes To Convention Due To 18 Votes [KCRG]

Charlie Rangel Embroiled In The Congressional Fight Of His Life [New York Daily News]

Republican District Remains Strongly In Favor Of Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) [Deseret News]

Tim Kaine's Wife Lends A Hand As Race For Virginia's U.S. Senate Seat Tightens [Sun Gazette]

Kilmer Faces Tough Republican Opposition In Acquiring Norm Dicks' Seat [The News Tribune]

Republicans Vying For Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate Seat Face-Off In Tuesday's Primary [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Florida's New Districts Make For Interesting Contests [East Orlando Sun]

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