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2024 Montana Primary elections

Daines Likely Staying Close To Home This Weekend

Screenshot from a video of Steve Daines at the U.S. Capitol, October 5, 2018.
Screenshot of Daines' video statement
Senator Steve Daines

Montana’s Republican Senator, Steve Daines, will likely not have to return to Washington D.C. by private jet tomorrow to help confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 

That's because Senators Susan Collins(R) and Joe Manchin(D) pledged their support to Kavanaugh Friday, securing the votes he needs for senate confirmation.

Daines released a 15-second video statement Friday prior to those announcements. In it, he noted he'd just cast his vote  for Kavanaugh and was heading back to Montana for his daughter’s wedding. Daines said he spoke with Kavanaugh on the phone Thursday night and told him,  ‘Judge Kavanaugh, I’m here if you need me this weekend for that final vote.”

Daines told the Associated Press that Greg Gianforte, Montana's Republican congressman, offered him use of his private jet if Republicans needed to hold the vote open for him to confirm Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile, a group of about 40 people opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation protested at the Montana Republican Party’s Missoula office Friday afternoon. ‘Missoula Rises’ and the ‘Montana Democratic Socialists of America' dubbed the event ‘Unleash Your Fury – Never Go Back’.

Tootie Welker was one of nine protestors who refused to leave the GOP office. Says Welker, “Part of our demands was that the nomination needs to be pulled and that Daines needs to vote no. Part of the reason we picked the GOP office was that, it’s not just Senator Daines it’s the whole Republican party; as Noam Chomsky has stated, the GOP is the most dangerous organization in America right now.”

Welker and eight others were cited with criminal trespass Friday and will be arraigned next week. Welker says she has no regrets about the sit-in.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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