HELENA – Former Republican state Sen. Corey Stapleton says he will be running for governor in 2012.
Stapleton last served as the Montana Senate minority leader during his last session in 2007, before being forced out due to term limits. The 42-year-old former Navy officer and financial adviser often led the opposition to the polices of Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Democrats.
Stapleton is the first noteworthy name to enter what is expected to be a crowded race on both sides of the aisle to replace Schweitzer, who cannot run again due to term limits.
Schweitzer has not announced his plans after office. Over the weekend, he cut down rumors that he would challenge longtime U.S. Sen. Max Baucus in a primary by calling the idea “silly.” He told Lee Newspapers of Montana he has “no interest in being in the United States Senate.”