Here's some more info:Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) is talking with his political team about whether to drop out of the Montana Senate race, according to Politico.
Those discussions, according to Politico, come after The New York Times reported that Walsh seemed to have plagiarized major parts of his master's thesis. The plagiarism scandal made Walsh's race, already one of the tougher ones among Democratic incumbents this cycle, even tougher.
The Missoulian and The Billings Gazette, two of Montana's biggest newspapers, recently published editorials urging Walsh to end his candidacy for Senate.
Walsh was appointed to the post after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was named ambassador to China. - TPM, 8/5/14
We shall see. Look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.When asked whether Walsh would definitely stay in the race, campaign spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua would only say in an email, “We’re not going to comment on rumors.” A DSCC official pointed to an earlier statement saying that the committee is “100 percent behind Walsh.”
If Walsh stepped aside before Monday, the Montana Democratic Party would have to choose a replacement candidate no later than Aug. 20.
Another Democratic source said Walsh has been resistant to stepping down, and some expect he can weather the political storm by pointing to his long military record. But some top Democrats in the state fear that his remaining a candidate will cost them dearly in down ballot races. They worry that Walsh’s vulnerabilities could hurt, for instance, Democratic House candidate John Lewis, who has a real shot at winning the seat opening up with GOP Rep. Steve Daines running for Senate.
There’s also fear that Republicans could use Walsh’s weakness to pad their majorities in the state House and Senate. A redrawn legislative map has given Democrats some good pick-up opportunities, and the party has fielded candidates in all 100 House districts and all 25 Senate races.
Walsh’s political problems began two weeks ago when The New York Times reported that he had plagiarized significant portions of a paper to earn his master’s degree in 2007 at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Walsh, a 33-year military veteran who served in combat in Iraq, has apologized for what he called a mistake, and has since noted that he has been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his service in war. An investigation launched by the school could further embarrass Walsh if it decides to strip him of his master’s degree or take other punitive actions.
Gov. Steve Bullock, who appointed Walsh to fill the term of Sen. Max Baucus, who resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to China, has not spoken with the appointed senator about staying in the race, according to a person familiar with the situation. The source said Bullock has “no position” on whether Walsh should remain on the November ballot.
With the environment heavily favoring Republicans in Montana, Walsh was always a long shot for the Senate seat in a red state. Even if Walsh steps aside, it’s unclear whether any other candidate would be on a firmer ground against Daines, the GOP’s Senate nominee.
A few names are being mentioned as potential replacements for the state Democrats to pick from: Nancy Keenan, former national president of NARAL Pro-Choice America; EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock; or John Bohlinger, who got 23 percent against Walsh in the June 3 Democratic primary.
Other names mentioned, but which are not taken seriously by top people, are former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who has lots of baggage and passed on running last year, as well as Dirk Adams, who has a history in banking that Democratic strategists say makes him unelectable.
Several people said there has been outreach to Keenan, who has expressed scant interest in running, sources said. - Politico, 8/5/14