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Montana Politics

Jan 21, 2014 7:26 PM by Sanjay Talwani (sanjay@kxlh.com)

Bohlinger may drop out of race if Walsh appointed to U.S. Senate

HELENA - U.S. Senate candidate John Bohlinger (D) will consider dropping out of the race if Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh is appointed to the seat soon to be vacated by U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D).

KGVO Radio in Missoula reported Monday that Walsh figured the head start Walsh would get as an incumbent senator would be difficult to surmount.

"Incumbents have an incredible ability to raise money," Bohlinger told MTN News on Tuesday.

When Baucus is appointed as the U.S. ambassador to China, as is expected within a few months, Governor Steve Bullock has the authority to appoint a new senator, who would then face re-election to the seat in November.

But Bohlinger, the former Republican lieutenant governor under Democrat Brian Schweitzer, said it's unlikely Bullock will appoint Walsh.

"There's a history of unsuccessful efforts of those who have been chosen to fill out a term," he said "They historically do not do well. We'll wait and see."

While Bullock has endorsed Walsh in the race, he has stopped short of saying he would appoint him to Baucus' seat.

Bohlinger, Walsh, and Wilsall rancher Dirk Adams are in the running for the Democratic nomination for the seat.

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines has a huge fundraising lead over state Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula on the Republican side.

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