Skip to main content

Newly minted Democratic Senate nominee Amanda Curtis
On Saturday Aug. 16, Montana Democrats held a special convention to select a replacement nominee for appointed Sen. John Walsh, who dropped out after revelations that he plagiarized his 2007 war college thesis. State Rep. Amanda Curtis, a high-school math teacher, was chosen over rancher Dirk Adams. Some other Democrats initially expressed some interest in running here, but only Curtis and Adams submitted their names in the end.

The 34-year old Curtis, who faced poverty and tragedy growing up, is a relative newcomer to politics. She won her first election in 2012, easily taking the nomination in a Butte-area seat. Curtis was unchallenged in the general election in this district, which Obama carried 70-27. Curtis decided to retire from the state House after redistricting placed her in the same district as another Democratic incumbent. However, she'll be on the November ballot after all, albeit in an unexpected way.

Curtis has a very uphill climb here. Freshman Republican Rep. Steve Daines, who represents the entire state, was consistently leading Walsh even before the plagiarism scandal broke, and will be hard to beat in this conservative state. Curtis will be starting this race with virtually no name recognition and no money, and will need to work very quickly to raise both. If Curtis can get organized in time, she may have the chance to do well. Daines is not particularly popular, sporting a 39-40 approval rating in a July Public Policy Polling survey. Curtis is also not a member of a horrifically unpopular Congress, which could help her in a close race. However, it won't matter much if Curtis cannot get her name and message out. Daily Kos Elections rates this contest as Likely Republican, and Curtis definitely has a lot to prove.

National Democrats haven't spent much here since Walsh's campaign imploded: If they feel Curtis can make this a race, they'll probably want to act fast to raise her profile or attack Daines. It will also be interesting to see if Republicans and their allies decide to attack Curtis before she can respond, if they decide to boost Daines instead, or if they feel that they've already won and do nothing. We'll know soon enough if either side believes there's a contest here or not.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 04:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Montana Kossaks and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site