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Can the Senate’s Newest Appointee Win a Full Term?

The meek will not inherit Montana in a heated Daines-Walsh race for Baucus' old seat.

by
Rod Kackley

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June 4, 2014 - 8:40 am
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Republicans are hoping to win one of two U.S. Senate seats in Montana for the first time since the Chicago White Stockings became the Chicago Cubs and won the first of two consecutive World Series championships.

Rep. Steve Daines (R) and Sen. John Walsh (D) won Tuesday’s Senate primary. Neither shied away from the negative campaigning that characterized their primary season.

“Today, Montanans sent a clear message that they are ready to change Washington and fight for more jobs, and less government,” Daines said in a statement Tuesday night. “Montanans can no longer afford a U.S. Senate – or an appointed senator— that follows President Obama and rubber-stamps failed policies like Obamacare, job-killing energy regulations, and trillions of dollars in wasteful Washington spending.”

“Every day I hear from seniors threatened by a Congressman who has tried twice to privatize their Medicare. I hear from parents with full-time jobs who still struggle to feed their children; from veterans who cannot access the healthcare services they were promised; and from women who worry that Washington politicians will take away their right to make their own healthcare decisions,” Walsh said in his primary election victory statement Tuesday night.

Walsh wants his first full six-year term in the Senate. The 33-year veteran of the Montana National Guard, who rose to the rank of adjutant general and led 700 members of the Guard to Iraq, was appointed to the Senate seat Max Baucus vacated to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

Walsh was elected to the office of lieutenant governor of Montana after he retired from the National Guard. From there he went to the Senate to complete Baucus’ term.

Daines is a chemical engineer who left Proctor & Gamble to return to Bozeman, Mont., to work with his parents in the family’s construction business. He left his U.S. House seat to run in the Republican Senate primary.

Daines and his fellow GOP members are hoping they will be able to win a Senate seat this November that was last held by a Republican (Joseph Dixon) in 1907.

Even though they were not running against each other in the primaries, you wouldn’t know it by watching the TV ads in which Daines and Walsh went after each other during the spring primary season in Montana.

The fireworks won’t stop exploding until Montanans start shopping for their Thanksgiving turkeys.

Walsh told reporters following his victory in the Democratic Party primary Tuesday night that he won’t change his style of campaigning and expects the Daines camp to “try to swift boat my career,” referring to the ads that sank Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

One of the most recent TV campaigns featured an attack by Daines on Walsh alleging he had mismanaged tax dollars while serving as the administrator of the Montana Department of Military Affairs.

The ad also accused Walsh of “voting with Obama to put America deeper in debt” because of votes to increase the nation’s debt ceiling twice, once last year and again this year. However, as the Billings Gazette pointed out, the ad failed to note Daines also voted twice to raise the debt ceiling.

Daines has also charged Walsh with being slow to respond to the Veterans Administration scandal that erupted in May.

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Top Rated Comments   
Daines received 110,000 votes in the Republican primary vs Walsh getting 48,000 in the Democrat primary. Yesterday hardly any Democrats showed up to vote in primaries.

Ryan Zinke from my county (Flathead) will also win big. Montana is tired of Democrats right now. They have brought the state absolutely zero in the last 10 years.

Walsh will lose HUGE in the Senate election , so will Lewis in the House. Now we just need to get rid of that idiot Tester and our useless governor.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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I dunno what it is about this thread -- John and I have chatted and all other comments have been scammers. Ugh.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Daines received 110,000 votes in the Republican primary vs Walsh getting 48,000 in the Democrat primary. Yesterday hardly any Democrats showed up to vote in primaries.

Ryan Zinke from my county (Flathead) will also win big. Montana is tired of Democrats right now. They have brought the state absolutely zero in the last 10 years.

Walsh will lose HUGE in the Senate election , so will Lewis in the House. Now we just need to get rid of that idiot Tester and our useless governor.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy JG3
Your keyboard -> God's Inbox.
I actually favored Corey Stapleton in the Republican primary but I look forward to voting for (St) Senator Zinke for Congress and Congressman Daines for (Fed) Senate.
Although that gets a little weird: voting for a Senator for the House and a Member of the House for the Senate...
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is my home ground.
Sen. Walsh is a flaming liberal of the Obama-Tester-Schweitzer-Bullock school. He lacks any serious traction as an incumbent -- some of us believe that Bullock appointed him to give him an incumbent's edge but he doesn't have years of background. He was elected Lt Governor in 2012 but he's never stood for office on his own. I'm hoping all this works very much against Walsh.
Rep. Daines has not yet left his Congressional seat but he did give up the chance of re-election in order to challenge Walsh.
Given Walsh's lack of traction as an elected official, I'm hoping the better sense of Montana's conservative trend will outweigh recent trends at state level. Schweitzer got elected more on personality than on platform. Bullock got elected, I think, as Schweitzer's designated heir. I'm hoping this doesn't extend to either Walsh, who is warming Baucus' chair and voting as Baucus did, nor to Lewis, the Dem running for House and who was an aide to Baucus.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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