So Max has answered the question about his future. News broke this morning that he willl not run for relection, and will instead retire at the end of ’14 to his new home in Bozeman. We wish Max well in his retirement. So ends 40 years of elections and office holding, which began in the 1970s when he literally walked across the western half of the state to campaign for his first job as a house member. He is probably looking forward to a rest now.
So now the question is, will he or won’t he? There are two Hes.
The first is Schweitzer, who has not indicated what he plans to do although it’s hard to imagine him not snapping it up. Seemingly the Senate seat is his for the taking. Other Democrats rumored to be at least modestly interested in higher office are Monica Lindeen and Denise Juneau, both of whom would make excellent candidates but obviously not of a Schweitzer caliber, at least not at this point in their careers.
The other He is Steve Daines. If the field features neither Baucus nor Schweitzer, clearly Daines might opt in and abandon his U.S .House seat for a shot at Senate. But Daines will probably not run if Schweitzer gets in. It would not be suicide to run against Schweitzer, but it would be close.
Schweitzer meanwhile is currently working on a takeover of a mine in Montana, which he is arguing has been mismanaged and is in need of stronger leadership. He did not comment today on speculation that he is likely to enter the Senate race.
Plenty of punditry to come.