Lewistown, MT, United States (4E) – Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced on Saturday he will not contest the open U.S. Senate seat next year saying the legislature is not the place for him.
Schweitzer, who was widely expected to run and highly favored to take over the seat of longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus because of his popularity, made the announcement in an interview with Lee Newspapers.
Schweitzer said he prefers getting things done by plowing the field than be in the U.S. Senate where things die, according to Missoulian.
Baucus said there are other qualified Montana Democrats who can take over his seat. Gov. Steve Bullock echoed Baucus’ comment.
The decision set a likely candidacy for U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R-Bozeman), who is preferred by national and state GOP leaders. Daines issued a statement saying he is still talking with his family and the people of Montana about his decision.
Two other Republicans are also eyeing the U.S. Senate: former state Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings and current state Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula. Edmunds said he would settle for a House run if Daines bids for the Senate.