Baucus, Rehberg Continue to Outraise Opponents

By Beacon Staff

WASHINGTON – Newly released campaign finance reports show both of Montana’s members of Congress up for re-election this year are continuing to raise significant amounts of cash.

Their opponents, both surprise winners in the state’s June primary, don’t have much chance of catching up.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, raised another $490,000 between May 15 and June 30, bringing his total raised for this year’s re-election bid to $10.9 million. Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg has raised about $870,000 since he was re-elected in 2006, with more than $105,000 raised between May 15 and June 30.

Baucus’ Republican opponent, perennial candidate Bob Kelleher, did not respond to requests for his most recent fundraising numbers but had raised less than $5,000 as of March 30.

Former state House Majority Leader Mike Lange, a Republican who lost to Kelleher in the primary, has said he will run as a write-in candidate for the Senate race. He said Tuesday he has raised less than $1,000 since the primary June 3. He reported having $2,552 in the bank on May 14.

Rehberg’s opponent, Democrat John Driscoll, has pledged not to raise any money at all. He says he hopes that visits with voters and word of mouth will carry him across the finish line in November.

Both Driscoll and Kelleher were underdogs in the June primary. Kelleher, 85, had run for political office at least 16 times over 40 years, including as a Democratic and a Green Party candidate. Driscoll had said he would be “perfectly happy” if one of his opponents, Democrat Jim Hunt, won the nomination.