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article imageMontana Democratic Party Senate candidate missing in action

By Larry Clifton     Aug 7, 2014 in Politics
Helena - Rumors are swirling about the campaign of Democratic Montana Sen. John Walsh, who was recently accused of plagiarizing a research paper.
The Democrat Senate candidate who has been losing steam in his campaign is reportedly taking time off from his campaign for personal reasons.
Remaining unseen at his Helena home and canceling campaign events while avoiding the press is feeding a storyline that ends with the Democrat dropping out of the race before the August 20 deadline for a potential replacement candidate.
The Democrat was appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock in February after Max Baucus resigned to become ambassador to China for the President. Walsh is running against Republican Rep. Steve Daines who is currently ahead in most polls.
The Montana seat represents a potential pickup for Republicans in a district that had been considered safe for decades under Democrat Max Baucus who was elected to the seat in 1978.
Walsh was a no-show at a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday with Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, another incumbent Democrat in a tossup race.
"He took a personal day yesterday," campaign spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said Wednesday.
However, some analysts say it would be unusual for a Senate candidate who is behind in the polls to leave the campaign trail just 89 days before the election.
"Instead of closing ranks around Walsh, Democrats should call on him to do the right thing," The Billings Gazette wrote in a Sunday editorial. "Having repeatedly said that he wants to do the honorable thing, Walsh should stop campaigning and do his utmost to serve Montanans well in the remainder of his brief Senate appointment."
Meanwhile, the Montana Democratic Party continued to pledge its support of Walsh. "Senator Walsh is our U.S. Senator and candidate," party spokesman Bryan Watt said.
Walsh has been widely criticized in the press after the New York Times published a story filled with allegations that he plagiarized part of a 2007 research project written at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania. Ironically, military service was an element of his resume strongly advanced by his campaign.
After the plagiarism allegations arose last month, Walsh’s campaign went dark. His website has not been updated and the Walsh campaign has not been heard from since Friday. In addition, the senator’s Facebook page and Twitter account have been static since the weekend.
With midterm elections looming, the Democratic Party will have to decide whether to stick with Walsh or scramble for a new candidate within the next two weeks.
More about john walsh senate candidate, montana democrats, Se John Walsh Plagiarism, midterm elections democrats, steve daines campaign for senate
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