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Champ Edmunds launching challenge to Sen. Max Baucus

Montana state Rep. Champ Edmunds (R) will announce his campaign to unseat Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Thursday, according to a tweet from Edmunds's Twitter account.

Edmunds, a Navy veteran and mortgage consultant who was elected to the state House in 2010, has been a champion (pardon the pun) of many conservative causes.

He has also criticized a wide-ranging Justice Department probe into sexual assault allegations at official institutions in Missoula.

The Fix has named him one of six potential challengers who could test the Republican Party's new effort to nominate more electable Senate candidates.

Former state senator Corey Stapleton (R) has also gotten into the race, and the field to face Baucus, a top GOP target in 2014, is expected to be crowded.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect tonight
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the state of drinking water in Flint, Mich. Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
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The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
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