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Montana Politics & Legislature

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State Capitol, Helena
Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

Walsh appointed as Montana's next U.S. Senator

Feb 7, 2014
Dan Boyce

Just one day after Montana’s Senior Senator, Max Baucus, was confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China, Governor Steve Bullock has appointed his Lieutenant Governor, John Walsh, to serve the remainder of Baucus’s term. The move keeps the post in Democratic hands and may bolster the party’s hopes of keeping the seat in November.

The 2014 election officially begins

Jan 9, 2014
Dan Boyce

UPDATE 5:30 PM

The Secretary of State's Office has reported a total of 139 Montana candidates filed to run during the first day they could officially do so.

Republican legislative candidates at a news event Thursday afternoon said Montana voters are tired of what they call failed liberal policies both in the state and in Washington D.C.

Dan Boyce

2013 began with a new governor and a new legislature - and wound down with a government shutdown. In-between there were headline-grabbing trials and home-destroying fires.

The MTPR news staff - Sally Mauk, Edward O'Brien, Dan Boyce and Katrin Frye - covered the issues and breaking news. In this feature, they take a look back at a year of drama and heartache, and political surprises.

Daines officially announces Senate bid

Nov 6, 2013
Dan Boyce

Congressman Steve Daines officially announced his intentions Wednesday to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Max Baucus in 2014.

"Montanans fundamentally understand that our federal government is too big, it is too powerful, it spends too much and it interferes too often with our daily lives," Daines told the crowd of a couple hundred supporters at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman.

Dan Boyce

The only Democrat so far to file for Montana's U.S. House seat in 2014 officially announced his campaign Monday. John Lewis, former State Director for Sen. Max Baucus, held the kick-off event for his campaign from a Helena union hall about two months after submitting paperwork for the bid.   

Lewis opened the kick-off by unveiling this campaign video:

Montana's Lieutenant Governor, John Walsh has announced he is running for the U.S. seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus in 2014. 

Walsh announced his intentions today, launching this website complete with a more than two minute video outlining his 33 years serving in the Montana National Guard, including serving as Adjutant General from 2008 to 2012, when he left the guard to join the ticket of then-gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock.

Montana political observers spotted their first Democrat to officially file for U.S. Senate Wednesday.

Dirk S. Adams, a Wilsall Rancher, told Lee Newspapers Reporter Mike Dennison he decided about a month ago to get into the race and that it’s his first time running for office.

Montana’s public employees now just need to wait for state agencies and unions to ratify a plan negotiated with Gov. Steve Bullock in order to receive their first base-pay raises in more than four years.

Governor Steve Bullock’s office is reaching out to Democratic Lawmakers to uphold his vetoes on some key bills from the 2013 Legislature,  including some bills that were initially supported by almost the entire legislative body.

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