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article imageMontana Democratic Senator drops out of Senate race

By Larry Clifton     Aug 7, 2014 in Politics
Helena - Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh, his campaign rocked by allegations of plagiarism, dropped out of his Senate race on Thursday, forcing Democrats to scramble for an alternative candidate to their own incumbent.
Democrats were facing an uphill battle in Montana even before their Gov. appointed Senator faced allegations of plagiarism.
Walsh made the announcement to his supporters acknowledging that accusations of “plagiarism” had become a distraction from the issues.
"I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. Senator. You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will," he said in the message.
Ironically, the campaign of the career military Democratic senator from Montana unraveled after the New York Times revealed the extensive use of unattributed material in Walsh's paper about the spread of democracy in the Middle East.
After Walsh described his plagiarism as an "unintentional mistake" and told the Associated Press part of the blame may lie in his being treated for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder following his deployment in Iraq, media and political opposition pounced.
As the only U.S. who has served in the hour Iraq war, Walsh served 33 years in the Montana National Guard rising to the rank of state adjutant general before being elected to office in 2013 as Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's lieutenant governor.
During his brief stint as a U.S. Senator, Walsh campaigned for reelection to his seat to replace Max Baucus, who resigned from the Senate to become ambassador to China.
Republicans blasted Democrat Bullock's appointment of his lieutenant governor as a political move designed to gain an advantage in the elections.
Walsh’s resignation is likely to provide a boost to Republican Rep. Steve Daines, who is giving up his House seat to run for the Senate. Daines was slightly ahead in most national polls.
Republicans will see a net gain of one Senate seat in Montana should they be successful in electing Daines on November 4. Democrats are struggling to hold on to control of the Senate despite the fact that Republicans would need to net six seats to take the Senate.
With national polls showing Pres. Barack Obama with a relatively low 40% approval rating, many political analysts are giving Republicans the edge in November.
More about helena montana, democrat john walsh, republican steve daines, republican senate, democrat senate
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