U.S. Rep. Steve Daines announced Wednesday that he will run for Senate in 2014, giving Montana Republicans a candidate they believe has a strong chance at winning the state’s first open Senate seat in decades.
Daines released a video announcing his candidacy shortly before launching his campaign in Bozeman by criticizing the Senate for supporting President Barack Obama and his signature health-care law.
The race may help determine which party controls the Senate, with Republicans needing to pick up six seats to recapture the majority.
Many Republicans had pushed Daines, 51, to run for the seat being vacated by Democrat Max Baucus, even though Daines won his first election just a year ago. Other Republicans cleared out of the race for Daines, who already has raised more than $1 million to begin the campaign.
Daines came out of the gate with a familiar message of less federal government, reduced spending, gun ownership rights, more energy development and logging on federal land and reform of federal programs.
But Daines said in his announcement that any changes to benefits for seniors, like Social Security and Medicare, need to protect current seniors.
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