Political News

Montana's Steve Bullock planning to run for Senate

Posted March 4, 2020 4:43 p.m. EST

— Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is making plans to run for the US Senate, telling Democratic leaders that he intends to declare his candidacy in the coming days, a decision that improves the party's chances for winning a majority in the Senate.

Two Democratic officials familiar with the matter tell CNN that Bullock, who briefly ran for president in 2020, is now opening a door that he repeatedly insisted was closed. For months, Bullock bluntly said he had no interest in serving in the US Senate and would not be on the Montana ballot this fall.

In recent weeks, Bullock's resistance to a Senate campaign has eased, the officials said, with his family now warming to the idea. In conversations with party leaders, he has also cited the gravity of the times and the importance of Democrats trying to win back the chamber. Bullock would face Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who has built up an impressive $5 million war chest.

Bullock is expected to make his announcement before the filing deadline on Monday.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

Democrats need to win the White House and a net gain of three seats in the Senate to flip the chamber, or four seats if they don't defeat President Donald Trump.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer flew to Montana to personally urge Bullock to run, according to Politico.

Republicans immediately bashed the decision.

"Succumbing to overtures from national Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama, Steve Bullock is giving a foolish Senate run another look," said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Nathan Brand.

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