As expected, Republican Steve Daines announced Thursday that he is abandoning his Montana Senate bid to instead run for the House.
Roll Call first reported on Monday that Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) will announce on Saturday that he will challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) and that Daines would announce Thursday his bid for Rehberg’s seat.
Daines did so in a press release and indicated the move gives Republicans their best chance for winning all three of Montana’s federal seats by 2014, when Sen. Max Baucus (D) is up for re-election.
“I can best serve Montana by uniting the Republican Party and reaching out to concerned Montanans of all affiliations who believe we need less government and more jobs,” Daines said in a statement. “The mission has not changed. I am running to fight the politicians of both sides who believe bigger government and more spending will solve our problems and create jobs.”
Daines serves as vice president of Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies and previously ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor.
State Rep. Franke Wilmer is so far the only Democrat to announce a House bid, but about a dozen more names are in the mix as potential candidates.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.