Freshman Montana Rep. Steve Daines (R) will announce Wednesday that he is running for Senate, GOP officials told POLITICO.
Daines will enter as the frontrunner against Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh in the contest for the seat opening with the retirement of Sen. Max Baucus (D).
His entry is not a surprise. The 51-year-old has been building a team and hiring staff behind the scenes for weeks.
Daines confirmed he will announce his intentions Wednesday at a noontime event at the Bozeman Holiday Inn.
“Three years ago, thousands of Montanans joined me on a journey to bring real change to Washington—to fight for more jobs, and less government. And while we’ve taken important steps to get our country back on track, there is still work to do,” he said in an emailed statement. “Cindy and I look forward to this opportunity to thank all of the Montanans who have joined us in our fight to change Washington and hear their ideas about how I can best serve the people of Montana.”
Daines has had a successful career in the private sector, as an executive at Procter & Gamble and then a software business. He planned to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) in 2012 but stepped aside when then-Rep. Denny Rehberg announced plans to do so. He ran for Rehberg’s seat instead and won it handily.
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