Representative Steve Daines of Montana, a Republican, said on Wednesday he would run for the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Max Baucus next year, in a race that could be a factor in determining which party controls the Senate.
The videotaped announcement by Daines of his candidacy comes after Republican leaders urged the freshman congressman, a former Proctor & Gamble executive, to target the Senate seat after former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, backed out of the race.
“Today, after a year as your representative, my concern about the direction of our country has only deepened,” Daines said in the short video, posted on his website. He pointed to “wasteful spending” and resistance to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as reasons for his run.
Republicans are seeking to reclaim the majority in the Senate next year, with the race in Montana considered key in a campaign that also targets Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Louisiana and North Carolina.
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