Posted: Jul 13, 2013 12:03 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Jul 13, 2013 2:54 PM
UPDATED: 07/13/13 - 2:55 p.m. To include complete quote from Sen. Baucus.
News that former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 has prompted a wide range of responses.
"We'll need strong leaders in office to carry on the torch moving forward," Senator Max Baucus (D) said in a video at the Montana Democratic Convention on Saturday.
Baucus is retiring after nearly 40 years in Congress. Many were speculating that Schweitzer would run for his open seat.
"I know what a tough choice this was for Brian, and I respect that he made the best decision for himself and his family. No one understands the pull of wanting to be home in Montana better than me," Baucus said. "Brian was a great Governor and there's no question he would have made an excellent candidate. But we still have a wide field of qualified Montana democrats who can run and win this seat."
On Friday, Senator Tester told the Montana Television Network that Schweitzer had the best chance of winning on the Democratic side of the aisle.
"There are no if, ands, or buts about it," Tester said.
Then after the news broke on Saturday Tester said, "Running for the U.S. Senate is a big decision for a potential candidate and their family. Just because this year wasn't the right time for Brian to run doesn't mean we don't have great Montana Democrats who are willing to run and capable of winning the seat."