Schweitzer named chairman of mining company

Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer (D), who Democrats have said is likely to run for that state's open Senate seat, has nonetheless taken a new job as chairman of the board of the Stillwater Mining Company.

The Montana-based company announced Schweitzer's new job Monday. Less than three weeks ago, he and three others were elected to the company's board after a New York hedge fund grew tired of the company's management.

Frank McAllister, the current chairman, will remain in a lesser role.

It's not yet clear how this new job might affect his future political plans. In addition to the 2014 Senate race, Schweitzer is considered a potential presidential candidate.

"I have a timetable, and at some point in the future I will begin contacting the reporters that really matter, and most of them will have a telephone number that starts with 406," Schweitzer joked with the Hotline's Scott Bland, referring to Montana's area code.

If Schweitzer jumps into the Senate race, Democrats will be favored to hold retiring Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) seat. If he doesn't, Republicans will likely be favored in a red state.

Stillwater is the only platinum and palladium mining company in the United States. It is Montana's largest publicly traded company.

This post was updated at 4:38 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · May 20, 2013