Schweitzer Wants Democratic Primary to Continue

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Gov. Brian Schweitzer says he would like to see the race between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama continue to Montana’s June 3 primary, the last contest in the nation.

Clinton has been under increased pressure in recent days to bow out and hand the Democratic presidential nomination to Obama. Although the race is close, Obama has a clear edge in pledged delegates and appears to hold the momentum among the key superdelegates who can vote for whomever they like at the Democratic national convention in August.

But Schweitzer said Thursday the race should continue.

“Ya know, it’s nearly tied,” Schweitzer said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think it’s been good for the Democratic Party. There’s millions of new voters, lots of excitement and energy. I don’t know, let the voting continue. Might as well let Montana finish the voting.”

Schweitzer, a superdelegate, has been staunchly uncommitted and has refused to say whom he might support. But all the attention from the candidates has been good for Montana, he said.

“It was exciting that the presidential candidates came to Montana, and they now have active presidential campaigns in Montana,” the governor said.

Schweitzer said he will only announce his endorsement after he sees who Montanans choose in the June 3 primary. At stake in the primary are 16 pledged delegates.

On Thursday, Schweitzer also dismissed any notion that he would be interested in being a vice presidential candidate, despite some speculation. He was recently placed on a list of potential vice presidential picks for Obama.

“It’s safe to say that (Obama) has not requested. It’s also safe to say I have the best job in the world,” Schweitzer said. “This is the first political job I have had. I like this, and I would like to complete this job.

“I have made it pretty clear that I don’t like the politics back there in Washington, D.C., and Jag doesn’t like the smell of it,” he said, referring to his beloved dog.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.