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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.”

Democrats were forced to search anew for a candidate last month after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer surprisingly opted against running. Since then, state Auditor Monica Lindeen and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock have also declined.

On the Republican side, the party is awaiting a decision from freshman Rep. Steve Daines, a strong fundraiser with a statewide win under his belt as Montana’s lone congressman. Neither of the announced candidates have raised much money so far.

Before Congress left for recess last week, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet said the party would absolutely have a strong recruit for the race next year. But he urged patience, as the Senate recruiting period tends to last throughout the odd year.

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

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