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.
Baucus will retire next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
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
Schriock is the president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock has confirmed she is considering a bid for Montana’s newly open Senate seat in 2014.
Since Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., announced his retirement plans last week, Schriock has mostly kept quiet about the race — until she spoke with reporters at a Thursday event for EMILY’s List. Full story
#FLgov: Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, is mulling a gubernatorial run in 2014.
#PA13:This blog premiered a new series, “The Candidate,” that questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. The first victim? State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat running in a crowded primary for Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz’s seat.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel touted his recruits in a memo to his caucus. Notably missing? Former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., who is trying to come back to Congress via the 31st District.
#GAsen: Former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, endorsed Rep. Paul Broun in the GOP primary to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
#HIsen: Tensions from the 2008 Democratic presidential primary continue through the 2014 Senate primary. Several years ago, appointed Sen. Brian Schatz backed now-President Barack Obama and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa supported Hillary Rodham Clinton. Could Bubba or Obama campaign in the Aloha State first?
Baucus' decision not to seek re-election means Democrats must recruit a new candidate for the race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Max Baucus’ surprising retirement announcement puts the onus on Democrats to recruit the state’s popular former governor, who could be the only candidate capable of holding the seat.
Thanks to a head’s up from the Senate Finance Committee chairman, party operatives have already begun with former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
The bolo tie-wearing national party figure could tap into a fundraising network far beyond any other Democrat in the state — except, of course, for Baucus. There is little doubt that the two-term former governor would give Democrats a good chance at holding the seat.
The question is whether the unpredictable and ambitious Schweitzer will actually run. Full story
Updated 12:42 a.m. | Montana Sen. Max Baucus has decided to retire instead of seek re-election next year, a sudden move that caught many colleagues and state Democrats off guard.
Democratic sources confirmed the news to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday morning — after which Baucus told reporters he was working to spread word to his staff.
“I’ve got people I’ve got to talk to first before I talk to the press, and that includes my staff,” he said. “I’m going to talk to my staff right now. And phone calls I’ve got to make. We’ll be talking later today.”
The Senate Finance chairman was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up in 2014 and Republicans had made clear they would heavily target the race. Baucus has served in the Senate since 1979 and has not faced difficult races in recent years.
Now that Baucus is exiting after this congress, Roll Call contributing editor Stuart Rothenberg rates this race as a Tossup in the Rothenberg Report.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be at the top of Democrats’ wish list as the candidate in the open-seat race. A Democratic source indicated the ex-governor is leaning toward running.
Hagan is the latest Senate Democrat to come out in favor of gay marriage rights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The Supreme Court’s focus this week on gay marriage has put Democratic senators seeking re-election in 2014 under a microscope, with no shortage of media outlets asking their offices about evolving views on the issue.
With the court taking up the constitutionality of a portion of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which restricted the federal definition of marriage to opposite sex couples, several Democratic senators have determined in recent days that now is the time to make public revised or clarified stands on the marriage issue. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who is up for re-election in 2014, became the latest Democrat to announce her support for gay marriage Wednesday morning in an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer.
Baucus will acquire his second Republican challenger this week. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A second Republican challenger to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will officially announce his candidacy Thursday.
State Rep. Champ Edmunds will formally enter the race to challenge the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee at a press conference at Bitterroot Motors in Missoula at 2:30 p.m. ET, according to a release.
The National Rifle Association will target several senators up for re-election in 2014, including Pryor. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.
On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.
Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.
The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. Full story
Stapleton, a financial adviser, finished second last year in the seven-candidate Republican primary for governor. In 2012, Republicans lost both the governor’s race and the party’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, disappointments for the GOP in a state the party carried handily at the presidential level.
Baucus, 71, is one of six Democrats in the Senate seeking re-election in a state the president lost. Still, Tester held off a strong challenge from then-Rep. Denny Rehberg last year, and Baucus was sitting on a $3.6 million war chest as he began the 2014 cycle.
Stapleton is a Naval Academy graduate and served two terms in the state Senate, including stints as minority leader and chairman of the Legislative Campaign Committee.
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus raised $3.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will kick off his re-election bid with $3.6 million in the bank, according to a copy of his fundraising report obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The Senate Finance Committee chairman raised $610,000 during the final three months of last year. His year-end report, which will be filed on the Jan. 31 deadline, showed he spent $121,500 during the same period.
Baucus’ big number comes as welcome news for Democrats, who face a difficult map in 2014. The six-term senator represents one of seven seats up this cycle in a state that the president lost.
Former Rep. Denny Rehberg (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Rep. Denny Rehberg told the Billings Gazette last week that he will not run for office again.
After six terms in the House, the Montana Republican lost his challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November. It was Rehberg’s second Senate defeat, after challenging Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in 1996.
“I made the determination before [the 2012 race] that it would be up or out,” Rehberg said in an interview with the newspaper. “As it turned out, it was out.”
Baucus is up for re-election again this cycle and is definitely running. Tester survived by 4 points in the 2012 election, despite a 13-point victory in the state by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.
But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.
That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.
Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.