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October 20, 2014

Posts in "Mont. Senate"

October 3, 2013

Democrats Land Montana Senate Recruit

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh will run for Senate, providing Democrats with a key recruit for an open-seat race in a highly competitive state.

“Too many lawmakers back in Washington put their own agendas ahead of their responsibility to their constituents and to all Americans,” Walsh said in an advance statement obtained by the Associated Press.

Full story

September 24, 2013

Montana House Hopeful Hits Capitol Hill | #MTAL

Montana House Hopeful Hits Capitol Hill | #MTAL

Sonju met with Walden, right, about his House race in Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana state Sen. Jon Sonju was on Capitol Hill last week meeting with GOP-aligned groups ahead of a potential House bid in 2014.

Sonju, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year, spent much of Thursday at the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is preparing for a potential Senate bid by freshman GOP Rep. Steve Daines.

If Daines runs for Senate — very likely at this point — Republicans expect a crowded field of Republicans for his at-large House seat in the Big Sky State. Along with Sonju, the NRCC has also been in contact with former state Sen. Corey Stapleton, state Sen. Matt Rosendale and former state Sen. Ryan Zinke. Full story

September 11, 2013

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

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

Montana Senate Field Now Cleared for Daines | #MTSEN

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

Republicans Wait on Daines’ Decision in Montana Senate Race | #MTSEN #MTAL

Republicans Wait on Daines Decision in Montana Senate Race | #MTSEN #MTAL

Daines is mulling a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana state Sen. Matt Rosendale, a Republican, recently filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to start raising money to run for Congress — he’s just not sure which office yet.

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

Ex-Congressman Says No to Montana Senate Bid #MTSEN

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

Reid: West Virginia Democratic Recruit to Announce ‘Shortly’ #WVSEN

Reid: West Virginia Democratic Recruit to Announce Shortly #WVSEN

Reid assessed his party's recruitment status in a recent interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Baucus Barbecue to Boost Local Democrats’ Fundraising #MTSEN

Baucus Barbecue to Boost Local Democrats Fundraising #MTSEN

Baucus is raising money for local Democrats. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Yet Another Democrat Declines Montana Senate Bid #MTSEN

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 Won’t Run for Senate #MTSEN

EMILYs List President Wont Run for Senate #MTSEN

Schriock won't run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Freshman Republican Holds the Keys in Montana #MTSEN

Freshman Republican Holds the Keys in Montana #MTSEN

Daines is mulling a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Another Democrat Opts Against Senate Bid in Montana #MTSEN (Updated)

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

The Senate Majority Fight in Post-Schweitzer World

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.
Full story

July 13, 2013

Brian Schweitzer Not Running for Senate (Updated)

Brian Schweitzer Not Running for Senate (Updated)

Schweitzer will not run for Senate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.

Full story

July 11, 2013

Schweitzer Expected to Run, but When? #MTSEN

Schweitzer Expected to Run, but When? #MTSEN

Schweitzer is considering a bid for Senate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.

Full story

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