Bullock discusses possible U.S. Senate run with Lt. Gov. Walsh

2013-08-03T06:00:00Z 2013-08-05T12:30:42Z Bullock discusses possible U.S. Senate run with Lt. Gov. Walsh missoulian.com

HELENA – Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday he has talked several times with Lt. Gov. John Walsh about running for the U.S. Senate, but has neither encouraged nor discouraged his running mate from entering the race.

Walsh, former adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014 for the seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Max Baucus.

Asked about the Senate in mid-July, Walsh said, “I have not really thought about it at all.” His office declined to comment further to the Lee Newspapers State Bureau this week.

On Friday, Bullock was asked about a possible Walsh Senate candidacy at his weekly media availability.

“The lieutenant governor is an extremely talented leader and a wonderful individual,” Bullock said. “That’s why I chose him to actually lead government with me, and he’s doing a great job here as lieutenant governor. I think there are a lot of opportunities out there, and that it’s important we have strong leadership in the U.S. Senate representing Montana.”

Asked if he was encouraging Walsh to run, Bullock said he had not.

“We’ve have had some discussions about it, and making sure that he hadn’t really given much thought to it,” Bullock said. “He likes the job that he’s doing and he’s doing a good job at it.”

Bullock said Walsh has played an important role as they negotiated with the Legislature earlier this year. They are also working together on a project to improve effectiveness in government and are meeting with all department directors and staff.

The governor said he’s mostly talked to Walsh about whether he wants to be in the Senate and whether he thinks that’s the best way to serve Montana.

“That’s not encouraging or discouraging, I suppose,” Bullock said in response to a question. “I think anyone, and the lieutenant governor already knows, anybody that runs for office, (knows) it’s an incredible opportunity and service, (although there are) challenges in running. That it takes a big toll on individuals and their families. I think those are all things that ought to be balanced.”

The governor was asked if he had spoken to any other Democrats about running for the Senate.

“I’ve received some calls and given more or less the same advice to individuals,” Bullock said. “If you focus on the issues and you want to work hard, this is achievable.”

Chuck Johnson is chief of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau in Helena. He can be reached by email at: chuck.johnson@lee.net or by phone at (406) 447-4066 or (800) 525-4920.

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(6) Comments

  1. Vidi
    Report Abuse
    Vidi - August 03, 2013 11:28 am
    MT's own house of cards. First-Max retires (coercion?). Second-Schweitzer bails (what is the rust under the hood and who leaked it). Third-Mr. Bullock's faux endorsement of Lt.Gov sets stage for his own announcement.

    Hope Mr. Johnson isn't playing Zoe. Now start asking the tough questions.
  2. Roger
    Report Abuse
    Roger - August 03, 2013 10:38 am
    First, it's "Bullock" not "Bulloch", and secondly, you're as bad a flamer as anyone, with your constant name-calling rants.
  3. Gustave
    Report Abuse
    Gustave - August 03, 2013 9:09 am
    The Lt Governor gets paid to not do anything all day? Sounds exactly like the Senate. It looks like he has the exact experience needed to run for the U.S. Senate.
  4. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - August 03, 2013 7:19 am
    You just can't keep good flamers down! Walsh has no government experience? No leadership experience. Last time I checked the National Guard was in Iraq and more numerous times over the last ten years. A ribbon cutter? Amazing the people that get on here and make these broad general statements comparing people to their kids high school principal or saying that the Lt. Gov position is a waste of tax dollars. I am sure Bulloch is being honest in his description of Walsh and his position and job. Of course these conspiracy theorists who always gripe about their taxes ( and fortunately are in the minority as they clearly have no appreciation for the roads they drive on, police fire etc...everything is a waste to them.....then pull the lever for some buffoon who is a corporate but boy in the election. I promise you this..if the waiter in the restaurant I frequent were to run against these Republican clowns already declared in the race and Daines does get in...( talk about a lack of experience) I will vote for the waiter....thinking and comments that appear here are reason enough for me not to mention their stance on issues and view of spending. Of course living in Missoula can jade ones thinking I suppose as our Mayor and Council and their spending on unneeded positions and user fees for going to the bathroom.....well, can be frustrating. No government? Good idea...idiots. Glad most of us do not see the world in such jaded terms. I would rather Bulloch run but Walsh would be ok...my first choice was Schweitzer of course but who would want to serve in the Senate?...and I guess it makes no difference...with leaders like Reid and McConnell, not much gets done anyway. We are still going to elect a Democrat in 2016 and the demographics are changing in this country so even if Montana has a buffoon but boy Republican it won't matter as nothing gets done anyway.
  5. libertarian
    Report Abuse
    libertarian - August 03, 2013 4:27 am
    We the tax payers waste some 86-thousand dollars for this LT Gov position. Of course Walsh has the time since his job really doesn't do much. It's the same for all our past LT Governor's.
    Wouldn't we all want a job that pays 86-thousand that essentially is nothing more then a ribbon cutter most of the time. We could get rid of the position and nobody would notice.
  6. johnny Dollar
    Report Abuse
    johnny Dollar - August 03, 2013 4:08 am
    “The lieutenant governor is an extremely talented leader and a wonderful individual,” Bullock said.?????

    What? The man has only been on the job a few months??? He has no government leadership experience outside of the national guard???

    My sons high school principal has more leadership experience. Get real.........and get a real job chief.
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