Tags: montana | senate | daines | baucus

Confusion in the Montana Senate Race

Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 12:39 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican Rep. Steve Daines of Montana plans to enter the 2014 Senate race to replace retiring Democrat Max Baucus, according to a state lawmaker who has decided to withdraw from the contest himself to avoid a primary battle with his GOP colleague.

But a spokesperson from Daines' office said that's not quite right, at least not yet.

State Sen. Corey Stapleton told Lee Newspapers Tuesday that Daines informed his office last week of his intention to mount a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. As a result, Stapleton, who had already begun his own campaign to replace Baucus, said he plans to exit the race and instead make a run for the U.S. House.

According to The Hill, national Republicans believe Daines will give the party its best chance of taking the seat.

"Congressman Daines has indicated he wants to run for this [Senate] race, so I’ll run for the House. They reached out to us last week," Stapleton said, referring to the party.

But Daines spokeswoman Alee Lockman told Lee Newspapers that Stapleton was apparently premature, if not wrong, about whether her boss plans to run for the Senate.

"To anyone who asks, he’s very clear and very consistent; he’s taking his time to think about it," she said.

Asked by The Hill newspaper why Stapleton would say that Daines had already made up his mind, she replied, "I can’t speak to what Mr. Stapleton’s thought process is."


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