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Posts in "Mont. Senate"
September 11, 2013
Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.
A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.
“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story
September 3, 2013
Former Montana state Sen. Corey Stapleton confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he is dropping his Senate bid to run for the House instead.
“It’s official,” he said by phone.
The exit of the last remaining Republican in a top pickup opportunity for the GOP is the latest indication that Rep. Steve Daines will run for the open Senate seat.
Stapleton appeared to let Daines’ decision slip in an earlier interview with Montana’s Lee Newspapers. But Daines spokeswoman Alee Lockman said the congressman hasn’t “made any final decision yet” and still does not have a timeline to do so. Full story
August 19, 2013
Like several other ambitious Republicans in the state, his decision to run for either the House or Senate will depend on whether Rep. Steve Daines, a freshman Republican, enters the race for Montana’s open Senate seat. Even state Rep. Champ Edmunds, who is currently in the Senate race, has said he would switch races if Daines jumps in.
As Rosendale’s campaign treasurer, Bill VanCanagan, wrote in a note filed Aug. 16 to the FEC, “we will not designate which office is being sought until Representative Steve Daines announces whether he’s seeking re-election for the U.S. House of Representatives or running for the U.S. Senate.”
Either would be a statewide race, as Montana has only one representative in the House. Full story
August 13, 2013
Former Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont., told Lee Newspapers on Monday that he strongly considered, but ultimately opted against, running for the Big Sky State’s open Senate seat.
Williams, who left Congress in 1997 after nine terms and would turn 77 before Election Day next year, said he’d been fielding calls urging him to run for three months — though he didn’t say whether any of them came from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Since former Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s surprise decision not to run, a few other prospective Democratic candidates have followed suit. The top names that remain in the recruitment mix include Lt. Gov. John Walsh and state Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris. Full story
August 12, 2013
After eight months of searching, have Senate Democrats finally found a recruit in West Virginia? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yes in a recent interview.
“I think we’re going to be very competitive in — in West Virginia, we have a candidate there who should be announcing shortly,” the Nevada Democrat told a local PBS affiliate about the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Reid did not divulge the Democrat’s name during the interview on “Nevada Week in Review.” Several Democrats have passed on the race, and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant remains as the only prominent recruit who has not declined to run yet. Full story
August 9, 2013
Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will host his annual Sieben Ranch Barbecue and Hoedown on Saturday on his family ranch outside Helena, with proceeds going to the state Democratic Party.
The fundraiser marks the senator’s latest effort to help keep his seat in the Democratic column next year. With Baucus not seeking re-election and the party still searching for a candidate to replace him, the seat is one of Democrats’ most vulnerable of the midterm election cycle. Full story
August 5, 2013
Another Montana Democrat is declining to run for the state’s open Senate seat, which remains one of the party’s most vulnerable in the country.
On Monday, Denise Juneau, the state superintendent of public instruction, announced on Facebook that she was taking her name out of the running for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.
“After much deliberation, I have decided not to seek the U.S. House or Senate seats in 2014,” Juneau said. “I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from people all across Montana and the country. It has been very humbling to be considered for such a leadership role representing our great state; however, my decision not to run for Congress is the right one for me at this time.” Full story
July 30, 2013
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock announced Tuesday that she will not run for Montana’s open Senate seat, further dwindling a short list of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination.
“Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart,” said Schriock, a Montana native and former top aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time.” Full story
July 26, 2013
Montana Rep. Steve Daines showed no signs of haste as he trekked from his Cannon office late Wednesday afternoon to the Capitol for a last-minute vote.
So far, the freshman Republican has taken a similarly measured approach to his looming decision about whether to run for the Big Sky State’s open Senate seat, one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans in 2014.
In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Daines said he hasn’t made a final decision and hasn’t set a timeline to make one. Full story
July 16, 2013
Updated 4:20 p.m. | A second Democrat in the last four days has announced he or she will not seek Montana’s open Senate seat.
According to local reports, state Auditor Monica Lindeen took her name out of the running on Tuesday for the seat of retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Lindeen’s name popped up along with a few other Democrats on Saturday after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the likely front-runner for the nomination, declared he was no longer considering a bid. Like Schweitzer, Lindeen said she did not want to leave Montana. Full story
July 15, 2013
Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.
But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina.
July 13, 2013
Updated 1:15 p.m. | Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, will not run for the Senate, according to an Associated Press report.
The stunning decision immediately puts the open seat in jeopardy for Democrats and makes the party’s hold of the majority in 2014 a heavier lift.
“I love Montana. I want to be here. There are all kinds of people that think I should be in the U.S. Senate,” Schweitzer told the AP. “But I never wanted to be in the U.S. Senate. I kicked the tires. I walked to the edge and looked over.”
Just a few days ago, he was expected to run. Earlier in the cycle, operatives believed he would have been the frontrunner if he sought the seat given his popularity as governor.
July 11, 2013
Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer is widely expected to run for Montana’s open Senate seat — the only question is when.
State legislators and operatives had heard he was preparing to announce his bid on Tuesday, but that day came and went without a peep from the populist Democrat.
Another likely option? The state party is holding a convention in Lewiston on Friday and Saturday, offering Schweitzer a room already packed with party faithful. At least one local Democratic official speculated he could make an announcement then.
“I think that there’s probably a 99.9 percent likelihood that he will [run],” said state Senate Minority Whip Robyn Driscoll, a Democrat supportive of Schweitzer. “Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks about when the announcement would be made. … We are having our Democratic convention this weekend, and so I’ll be looking for an announcement maybe then.”
Attempts to reach Schweitzer and his team about the delay were unsuccessful, and Schweitzer — who is known for personally calling reporters — did not return a call to his cellphone.
June 19, 2013
In Washington, D.C., the “traffic is bad,” “most of the people you talk to are frauds” and Georgetown “sucks,” at least according to former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Schweitzer, a possible Democratic candidate for Senate, called CQ Roll Call on Monday to chat after we reached out to a source close to him for comment on this story.
Schweitzer would be favored to win if he decided to run for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. Of course, he didn’t say much in the five-minute interview and boasted as much at its conclusion.
The Big Sky Democrat is no stranger to national politics: He had a prime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, plus he once served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. But in the interview, Schweitzer highlighted his outsider status, downplaying connections to party leadership in Washington or any interest in the city itself.
Here is an excerpt from the Q&A with Schweitzer:
June 18, 2013
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., cut a $100,000 check on Tuesday to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a source familiar with his campaign.
Baucus had nearly $4.9 million in his campaign account as of March 30, three weeks before announcing he would not seek a seventh term. He donated $470,000 to the DSCC last cycle, according to Center for Responsive Politics, not counting the money he raised on the committee’s behalf. Full story