Another Top Democrat Declines Senate Bid

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — Another candidate Democrats were hoping to recruit for Montana’s open Senate seat said Tuesday she won’t be running for the office.

Stephanie Schriock, who helped run U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s 2006 campaign and is currently president of the Washington, D.C.-based group Emily’s List, said she considered the idea, but ultimately rejected it.

Some Democrats had been touting her as a skilled fundraiser capable of taking on a big race and hoped she would step into fill a void.

“Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart, said Schriock, who grew up in Butte. “It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time.”

Schriock said she wants to continue her work helping elect women around the country, and she didn’t rule out any future races in the state.

“Montana is my home and I will always want to be a part of its future,” she said.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus’ retirement earlier this year created the first battle for an open Senate seat in the state since the 1970s — but at this point there are no announced front-runners.

Many thought popular former Gov. Brian Schweitzer would run and help Democrats retain the office. But he announced earlier this month he doesn’t want to go to Washington D.C.

Then Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen declined a bid, saying the demands of a U.S. Senate office would be too much for her family.

Democrats have focused their attention on Lt. Gov. John Walsh and Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. Both have said they are considering it.

Many Republicans hope freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Daines will seek the office. He has said he is considering it — a move that would then create an open congressional seat.

Currently two Republicans, state Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula and former state Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings, have announced Senate bids but have so far garnered little party support or money for the race.

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