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

Posted July 16, 2013 at 2:55pm

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.

There are currently no Democrats in the race. But names still potentially in the mix for the primary include EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, Lt. Gov. John Walsh, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and state Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris.

“The announcement by Gov. Schweitzer this weekend came as a surprise,” Juneau said in a statement. “Democrats were ready to get behind him in a bid for U.S. Senate. Since his announcement, I have been receiving encouragement to run, and I plan to give careful thought to that decision.”

Republican Rep. Steve Daines is strongly considering running. Already in the race are former state Sen. Corey Stapleton and state Rep. Champ Edmunds.

The race is currently rated Pure Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.