Montana Public Radio

Steve Daines

Dan Boyce

The already-crowded field of candidates vying for Montana’s U.S. House seat continues to grow.

Current Republican Representative Steve Daines announced earlier this month he will be running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Max Baucus in 2014.

Helena Real Estate Investor Drew Turiano says he’s running for the House seat as a Republican. It’s his second time running for office in Montana after coming in last in a four-way Republican Primary for Secretary of State in 2012. He hopes that loss has helped with name recognition for this race.

Dan Boyce

Former Republican Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger said Thursday he would be the Democratic candidate most able to defeat Congressman Steve Daines in the 2014 Senate Race.

The 77 year-old Bohlinger announced his Senate bid during a Tuesday dinner party held by the Lewis and Clark County Democratic Central Committee, but it was largely overshadowed by Daines announcing his Senate ambitions during a high-profile gathering in Bozeman on Wednesday.

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.

Sen. Daines Addressing Montana Energy Issues
File Photo

  The end of the federal government shutdown this week exposes a growing rift in the Republican Party—a rift between moderates and Tea Party Republicans.

Passage of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act boosted the Tea Party movement three years ago and the momentum put the GOP back in charge of the House of Representatives. Republicans have since tried multiple tactics to delay or defund Obamacare—culminating in the government shutdown early this month.

Congressman Steve Daines was one of eighty-seven House Republicans to vote for legislation ending the partial federal government shutdown and raising the country’s debt ceiling.

Many more Republicans voted against ending the shutdown—one hundred forty four of them.

Daines previously voted for measures to defund the Affordable Care Act, which eventually prompted Washington’s most recent gridlock.

He defends republican actions through the standoff—saying it was a result of Democrats refusing to negotiate.

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 employees of the US Department of Agriculture make up the largest piece of the state’s federal workforce.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry Economist Barb Wagner said latest figures show about 12,600 federal employees work in Montana, not including military personnel—which she says her office does not track. Of that civilian workforce, about 3,000 work for the USDA.

Sen. Daines Addressing Montana Energy Issues
File Photo

Montana’s Congressman Steve Daines is touting a bill he is cosponsoring which would increase logging on national forest lands.

The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act passed the U.S. House last Friday.

Supporters say the bill would boost local economies near forest land and help lower the risk of catastrophic wildfires like those seen near Yosemite National Park this summer.

But, the bill faces some stiff opposition, including from the Obama Administration.

A bill to cut the federal food stamp program, now called SNAP, by $4 billion annually for the next decade is heading over to the U.S. Senate.

The Republican-led U.S. House passed the SNAP cuts last week, over opposition from Democrats.

The proposed cuts could seriously impact local food banks in Montana. Executive Director of the Great Falls Community Food Bank David Abbott said currently about 10,000 people in Cascade County do not know where their next meal is coming from.

Sen. Daines Addressing Montana Energy Issues
File Photo

US Congressman Steve Daines said this week it makes sense to include his seven-day trip to Israel as a part of his ‘Montana Jobs Tour.’

“As Montana looks to the future, we’re gonna be highly dependent to grow our economy based on exports,” Daines said.

He visited several Montana towns last week as part of the tour, including Bozeman, Butte, and Billings.

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