Former Dem congressman declines to enter Montana Senate race

August 13, 2013
max-baucus_image_1024w
Sen. Max Baucus is retiring

A trio of Montana Democrats who belong to the same family have declined to run for the state's open Senate seat, leaving their party on the hunt for a candidate to replace the retiring Sen. Max Baucus (D).

Former congressman Pat Williams; his wife, former state senator Carol Williams; and their daughter Whitney Williams told Lee newspapers Monday that they will not run for the Senate or House in 2014.

Pat Williams cited health concerns as a factor in his decision.

"While my health is excellent, I do have an inner-ear balance problem and a slight case of neuropathy, which is a nerve disorder,” he said. “While those wouldn’t bother me as a member of the Senate, they would have bothered me in the campaign."

After former governor Brian Schweitzer gave a surprise announcement that he would not run for the seat being vacated by Baucus, Democrats were left scrambling to find a candidate in the conservative-leaning state. Montana state schools superintendent Denise Juneau, state auditor Monica Lindeen and Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock have each declined to run.

On the Republican side, the big question is whether Rep. Steve Daines will run. Already in the race are former state senator Corey Stapleton and state Rep. Champ Edmunds.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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David Nakamura | August 13, 2013