HELENA – Montana Democrats on Saturday chose state Rep. Amanda Curtis of Butte as their new U.S. Senate candidate, putting the largely untested freshman lawmaker up against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines just 80 days before the election.

Delegates at a state party nominating convention – called to choose a replacement for U.S. Sen. John Walsh, who resigned from the race Aug. 7 in the wake of a plagiarism scandal – chose Curtis over Wilsall rancher Dirk Adams by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

Curtis, 34, a high school math teacher, has no campaign team in place and virtually no campaign funds, but said she’s ready to upset the conventional wisdom that she’ll lose to Daines in the battle for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat.

“The national media and the political class have already decided that this race is over,” she said. “But I’ve got a secret: None of those folks get to vote in the state of Montana. …

“If we win here in Montana – outspent, outgunned in a race where we were left for dead – it will send a message to Washington, D.C., that we want change.”

Daines, Montana’s U.S. representative, has been campaigning for the seat since last fall and has raised more than $5 million for his effort. Libertarian Roger Roots of Livingston also is in the race.

In a statement Saturday issued after Curtis’ selection, Daines did not mention her by name, saying only that Montanans will have a “clear choice between my positive agenda for more jobs and less government, or more government and fewer jobs.”

Curtis said she’ll be emphasizing the “fundamental difference” between her and Daines – that she’s from the middle class and that Daines, a wealthy former software company executive from Bozeman, represents the “1 percent.”

***

Curtis, elected as a state representative from Butte in 2012, emerged 10 days ago as a possible candidate to replace Walsh and quickly picked up support from the state’s largest labor union, MEA-MFT, and later the state’s organized labor umbrella group, the Montana AFL-CIO.

Her only opponent was Adams, 63, a rancher and attorney who came in third in a three-way U.S. Senate Democratic primary in June.

At Saturday’s nominating convention, Curtis won the votes of 82 delegates to Adams’ 46. State and local Democratic Party officials, who made up the delegates, traveled from across the state to the convention in Helena.

Adams told reporters after the vote that the convention was a “fair and open process” and that he plans to do whatever he can to support Curtis. He also promised it wouldn’t be his last run for elected office in Montana.

In his speech to convention delegates, Adams said Democrats need to talk about new, important issues that will attract independents to the party, such as expanding Internet access across Montana and developing widespread child-care programs for children up to age 4.

“I’m not going to talk about issues that have not moved the needle,” he said, noting that Walsh spent $2.7 million “checking the Washington, D.C., list” of Democratic issues and hadn’t put a dent in Daines’ lead in the polls.

The convention drew 128 delegates, at least 100 more observers and a hoard of media, including a reporter and photographer from the New York Times, which first reported on July 23 that Walsh had plagiarized his master’s degree final paper at the U.S. Army War College in 2007.

Walsh, who was appointed as U.S. senator Feb. 7 to succeed Sen. Max Baucus, decided two weeks later to withdraw as a candidate, saying the plagiarism charges had become a “distraction” that would make it difficult for him to win.

Walsh, Montana’s former lieutenant governor, decided last fall to run for the Baucus seat and later was appointed by Bullock, a Democrat, to fill out the rest of Baucus’ term.

Baucus first announced in April 2013 that he would not run for re-election this year, putting the Montana seat in play as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

Curtis faces an uphill battle against Daines, but her supporters Saturday said she can energize young and female voters and paint a sharp contrast between her background and Daines’ history.

“He seems like a nice guy with a wonderful family, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t understand what life is like for the rest of us,” she said of Daines. “For the next three months, we’re going to cross this state. … We’re going to share our vision about an economy that works for all of us – not just the richest Americans.”

Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

More from missoulian.com

(79) comments

observer
observer

I am always surprised at how intolerant liberals are of other people's views despite proclaiming loudly how tolerant they are.

Rick
Rick

I wonder who let the cat out of the bag concerning Walsh's plagiarism? Probably the same folks who brought us Amanda Curtis when they saw how badly they were going to lose backing Bullock's choice.
I plan to be hunting that week, but my ballot will have turned in long before I leave. Curtis will not be my choice either.

HenningerBier
HenningerBier

virtually no campaign funds? Can't wait for ex-mayor Bloomberg to stick his nose in with his PAC. If his PAC buys up commercial time for her, will she become his lackey??

idiot state
idiot state

Maybe Ms. Curtis should work for change (..."change''....what a lovely word) in Montana's big labor union substandard high cost public school system! LOL...Was it Wallethub (?) who just rated Montana's public schools 30th in the nation, despite spending a lot more than most per pupil? No she's probably not interested in getting to the bottom of that; she's no doubt a big labor union thug gal herself!

sew2
sew2

I would wonder why you wouldn't pick the next person who actually took the time and effort into running during the primary. Not sure how somebody who wants to change DC so much, like they all say, wouldn't rise up and challenge.

There was so much unwarranted outrage over Walsh's selection to fill the Baucus seat you would think this would rub people the wrong way even more.

If she has good ideas, she should go to them instead of the same old class warfare income gap garbage, which has increased under this President and his policies.

knapweed
knapweed

It is bizarre the Dems have gone so hard left in choosing Curtis. In a state where Obama lost by 17 points and even Baucus was seen as too liberal, you’d think a moderate would be the smart choice. When Curtis’ voting record and extreme positions have light shined on them, it’s going to set the Dems back even further. So is it the lack of alternatives? Adolescent petulance? The politics of divisiveness and 19th century class warfare that has given us so much under Obama? I’m guessing all of the above.

David1
David1

Why don't you apply for a commentator job at Fox News? You seem to be a pretty good political analyst from their standpoint.

Larry Lewis
Larry Lewis

Nice to see the Mt Democrat party has bought totally in on hard core extreme leftist politics. Curtis has no position except the tired old class warfare. Shameful.

Still Here
Still Here

It is so good to see the Koch Head tea party folks up so early this morning.

Guyfromthesticks
Guyfromthesticks

It seems like alot of people forgot who passed the Brady Bill.

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

I don't think many Republicans have the mindset that allows them to remember someone like James Brady. Painful memories of one of your own gaining some sense are often blocked out.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Taking advantage of someone who suffered brain damage to push an agenda isnt gaining some sense, its evil.

idiot state
idiot state

Did Ms. Curtis say she wants "hope and change" or just "change"? "Change" like punching political opponents? LOL....This union gal makes Sarah Palin look like a genius. Guess the National Democrat big guys won't be wasting much money in the state of Montana; the race is over. Unless of course the Big Labor Unions play some election tricks, which isn't unlikely; Montana's voting laws are amongst the sloppiest in the nation.

wes d
wes d

Please leave Montana if you hate it so much.

Sheepdawg
Sheepdawg

Curtis has said many things, including that she’s “an anarchist at heart,”

Can Mr. Obama introduce her to Mr. Ayers if they have not met already?

Watching
Watching

If she's an "anarchist at heart" then she has my vote!

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

Boy those boys were sure popular back in the 1910s when Montana was controlled by corporations and telling our legislature what to do. I think we called them the IWW back then.

Chuck Feney
Chuck Feney

Amanda Curtis rise as Sacrificial Lamb insures low voter turnout by Dems, and a bloodbath in all Montana races for the Republicans. Curtis' Darwin Award winning genes are bound to display on stage in the debates. Her anti-Second Amendment rabidity will be particularly appreciated mid hunting season!
------------------------------------------
Stick A Fork In Amanda, The Sacrificial Lamb

A Teacher's Union politician named Amanda
Gave Montanans some Bloomberg propaganda
She seeks to extoll
Complete gun control...
D.O.A. is her political future's memoranda!

From Senator Walsh's ashes she arose
Out of Butte, with a bone in her nose
But she touched the third rail
With her gun control tale
Which Montanans are bound to oppose!
____________________
©H@®£€$ µ£¥§€$ f€N€¥

Meet Amanda Curtis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X98qmvI6Ntc

David1
David1

Chuck Fenney says, "Amanda Curtis rise as Sacrificial Lamb insures low voter turnout by Dems, and a bloodbath in all Montana races for the Republicans. Curtis' Darwin Award winning genes are bound to display on stage in the debates. Her anti-Second Amendment rabidity will be particularly appreciated mid hunting season!"

Ah, it could be the reverse: So many Republicans/Tea partiers/evangelicals will think Daines is a shoo-in, so why take the trouble to vote when he's going to win, anyway?

Oh, I hope, hope, hope you guys do this. Because MT Dems will flock to the polls now with a great candidate. Let's keep the MT Senate seats Democratic.

BJackson
BJackson

David, you are delusional, the Republicans will hit the polls in Nov to ensure a win, you don't have a great candidate, you have a patsy, that no one knows other than he stance that is opposite of the majority of Montana. Missoula is not a majority, it is simply a left leaning college town with many who have not really figured out their path in life yet.

David1
David1

So sez you. It's not a stretch to think Curtis can beat Daines. Why else have we had Democratic senators? If she doesn't, it'll still be down to the wire. Count on it. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

BJackson
BJackson

David, I could say the same right back to you, so sez you, your candidate is an unknown, other than a few state level votes that went against the majority and didn't pass. Come on, heck by time this is all over, not only will my chickens be hatched, they will be laying their own broods. The seat will be Daines, and guess what, I still have not made up my mind who I am going to vote for, I just happen to understand American Politics real well and you my friend, don't know when to call it quits. By the way, I thought you were through with me? Didn't you say that?

AnnieRose
AnnieRose

Other than the comments reporting Curtis's votes on gun related issues, I don't see anything here that would help me to decide whether to vote for her or not. Reach for known when you are making these comments, please.

Andre Leonard
Andre Leonard

“If we win here in Montana – outspent, outgunned in a race where we were left for dead – it will send a message to Washington, D.C., that we want change.”

Let's see here. A newcomer not beholden to an entrenched establishment candidate. It's a tough one to call, but I will vote for the newcomer Amanda Curtis.

liberal
liberal

She's got my vote !! ANYBODY BUT Daines !!!

BJackson
BJackson

And there in lies the major problem with politics in this country!

LosandfoundT
LosandfoundT

The Tea-Party successfully muzzled the GOP/Republicans!

David1
David1

Nice to see all the MT rednecks lining up against Amanda Curtis, who, if she does not defeat that slimy Republican/Teaparty/evangelistic Christian Daines, will certainly give him a helluva run for his (and your) money. Well, and the money of the Koch Brothers.

Dream on, MT Republicans, you'll have a fight on your hands, perhaps even worse than a fight against Walsh. This election is not in the bag for you rednecks, etc. Get over it.

TommyLivoti
TommyLivoti

Another lefty beta-male tough-talking anonymously about rednecks. So typical....

David1
David1

I'm David Werner. Care to comment? And, you're the kind of person I"m talking about. And, yes, I've faced down, in person, other rednecks like yourself.

BJackson
BJackson

David, what is up with the name calling? Not an effective strategy, it just diminishes your arguments and conversations. I don't care which side you are on, calling others names is not the way to go.

David1
David1

BJackson: I don't usually call people names, except when they call people like me names, and these people do it all the time re: Democrats. I'm surprised at the bitterness and vituperation so many commenters have toward Pres. Obama and Democrats, in general. It's difficult being civil to these people.

TommyLivoti
TommyLivoti

You're so awesome for facing down so many evil rednecks- such a tough guy (sarcasm).

TommyLivoti
TommyLivoti

Hippies in Missoula, Union Thugs in Butte and Curtis do not represent Montana values.

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

This is one of the main problems Republicans in this state fail to realize, and that's the stunning demographic shifts taking place, which will only make it worse for you.

We've created an economy where so many young people have to move that those people in the less-populated areas of the state are losing their voice. More people go to the cities, more votes for people like Curtis.

How many votes for Curits will come from Butte and Missoula and how many from other areas? Go look at voting rolls and you'll see Curtis will get more votes in one Butte district and one Missoula district than are people who can vote in an eastern county.

If this doesn't scare you, it should. Your Republican legislators have no solutions for this other than gerrymandering.

dogface
dogface

A Daines win means Montana Citizens Lose
A Curtis win means Montana Citizens Lose
Either side can cheerlead all they want. Ever wonder why it is that politicians will lie, cheat, and steal to get into Washington, as bad as they claim it is. Then when they get there, they lie, cheat, and steal to stay there. Does this make any sense?
Yes, whatever the outcome, we the Montana citizens are the losers.

BJackson
BJackson

A Daines win, means Montana progressive's loose, not the majority of the state, which is actually conservative inclined.

student4
student4

While listening to the evenin' news a butt democrat ,how sweet,a knot-head hack stated her secret. In the wise of Uncle Buck " here's a quarter..."

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

Montana!!!

Yes....it was out own pickle head farmer Jon that gave the country Obamacare (on 51 votes)!

Now......it is Montana that will hand the entire senate to the GOP.

Rejoice....rejoice.......Big Jon......start packing......you are next to get the boot.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Democrats are holding true to supporting the most far-left, progressive socialist they could find. Then they try to come off as supporting the "working" person by attacking someone who provides jobs. Go figure. She has a good mentor in Jim Elliott of Trout Creek.

Rick
Rick

As I said before. we now get to see the handpicked Gov. Bloomberg antigun candidate in action. Time will tell, but I doubt any investigations will pour forth from our Commissioner of Political Practices except those directed at non-Democrat candidates.

walter12
walter12

No surprise here. The hapless Dems pick the only person willing to come forward as the sacrificial lamb. Naturally, she is a know nothing leftist and good, loyal union stooge. She loves Obama and his crew and will be crushed by Daines in November. And no we do not fear strong women, a strong women is usually a conservative and we like that.

Square
Square

Well said Walter, in addition her husband is a member of the socialist party or democrat party!

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Just as I predicted.

"Montana Democrats selected a little-known state legislator named Amanda Curtis......"

Sure, just after they got a "pleasant" phone call from somewhere in DC. She is an obama appointee, nothing more.

A moderate dem? LOL!
Nope, a very partisan progressive.

Barak Nobama
Barak Nobama

It doesn't matter who runs in either party anymore. None of them are looking out for us. They only care about whoever is lining their pockets.

BJackson
BJackson

Thank you Democrats, you just handed the election to the Republicans, she is a virtual unknown with a poor voting recorded concerning the issues that mean a lot to the majority of Montana, Missoula is not an indication how the majority of Montana residents feel and what is important to them, Missoula is the bastion of liberal progressive students, who may have upper level learning, but are far below the scale when it comes to real life. Thanks again, Montana Democratic Party, it will be on cruise control from here on out!

compounder
compounder

Well she's exactly the candidate that democrat politicians would choose, however, not one that this voter is interested in voting for. Nice to get the nod without having to win a primary with real voters. There she is on third base thinking she's hit a triple. Can't vote for Daines either. My only hope is to vote for Roots.

reloader212
reloader212

She sure is nicer to look at then all those "old white men" who tend to monopolize our politics!

It's Just My Opinion
It's Just My Opinion

"This is a watershed moment to make sure that doesn't happen," Ravalli County delegate Lee Tickell said. Lee Tickell is a convicted felon with other charges from other states for the same sexual harassment charges which led to his conviction. These are the type of people who chose Amanda and want to push their values on the country. Here is an article when he ran for school board trying to explain away his faults - just like Walsh.
http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_182840b2-ac87-11e2-8bcb-0019bb2963f4.html

sigmorrell
sigmorrell

Weak men fear strong women.

Richy
Richy

Did you apply the same reasoning to those that feared Margaret Thatcher?

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Thats why Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Nikki Haley are constantly attacked....right?

Al Coholic
Al Coholic

No, because Sarah and Michelle are insane and have no common sense. They draw criticism to themselves by their own with such beautiful quotes from Mrs. Palin as "But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies" and "Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

Yes, Palin is clearly attacked because she's a very strong woman...

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Yes, promoting self responsibility, and less gubment, is considered insane by the progressive socialist.

Richy
Richy

Why even waste time running when you'll just lose anyway? She isn't even qualified to run a 5k

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

I think she'll run circles around Daines by hitting every spot of this state and convincing voters she's the real deal to look out for their interests, not Wall Street's.

Richy
Richy

Put down you're crazy pills Strandberg

Richy
Richy

*your

TommyLivoti
TommyLivoti

Yeah her out of state anti-gun stance will go well with Montana voters (sarcasm).

74griz
74griz

Picking someone to the LEFT of Baucus? A strong anti-gun record in the Legislature, and then lies about it. To hell with the demokrat party.

Aerindel
Aerindel

Yep, she is toast. Going to vote libertarian this time myself. No way in hell I would vote for a republican or an anti-gun democrat

retiredmsla
retiredmsla

She says electing her will mean Montanans want change. Is that hope and change?

idiot state
idiot state

National Republicans should keep in mind that Montana's a big labor union, big radical environmentalist, trial lawyer type state. It's not as red as it appears; and voting in this state is loose and sloppy. This union gal got the nod from the Union Bosses, and she'll have the cash, no doubt. Republicans should not take this (corrupt) state for granted...

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

dream on dolt. Can't be a BIG union state.....there are no jobs here!

Radicals.......we have a few.....most reside at Galen.

State is RED ......fred.........but GOP has been too stupid to make it count at senate elections. But not this time........rat boy Walsh was an easy mark.

Walsh........there is your top dog demorat!

wes d
wes d

Idiot state, why are you still here if you hate Montana so much? Leave already!

Rez Kid
Rez Kid

Lt me see, do I want a Senator who has started his own businesses, ran his own businesses, hired hundreds of people, and knows how the economy works from personal experience, or do I want someone who's only job has been one that's taxpayers pay for, and who will be a lap dog for the teacher's union?? simple choice.

"Curtis said she’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and that she and her husband own firearms."

That's not what her record says, not by a long shot.

MSSA tracked 24 gun-related votes cast by Curtis in the Montana House last session. Curtis voted anti-gun on 23 of 24 opportunities. For that, she scored a miserable 2.6%. A 59% score would have earned her an "F" on gun issues. She is well below F-, if there is such a thing"

Aerindel
Aerindel

Thanks for posting. Yeah. She is Bloomberg friend and no friend of MT.

Smilely
Smilely

A very sad day indeed that the democratic party did not recognize that Dirk Adams was a far better choice for the future of Montana as it stands today. I hope Amanda Curtis does the right things needed to preserve the integrity of our protected lands by not developing in any way shape or form our Inventoried Roadless Areas or letting any motorized vehicles even near them.

mini14gb
mini14gb

Her voting record on the gun issue she is NOT representative of the state of Montana. 100% NO votes on PRO-Gun Laws
What a joke.
NO on a bill to encourage manufacturers to move to Montana and create new jobs if those manufacturers make firearms (HR5).
NO on two bills to protect hunters' hearing by allowing sound reduction for hunting (HB205 & HB27).
NO on a bill to prohibit the university system from suspending the Montana Constitution (HB240).
NO on a bill to allow investigators working for public defenders to carry firearms for self defense (SB133).
NO on a bill to exempt from criminal “disorderly conduct” charges a hunter who fires a shot at a deer or elk (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB446).
NO on a bill to allow people located inside city limits the same ability for self defense as those outside city limits (HB304).
NO on a bill to allow a person eating at a restaurant that serves beer to provide for his or her self defense (HB358).
NO to medical privacy for gun owners (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB459).
NO to preventing newspapers from publishing the private information about people who have been issued a concealed weapon permit by the local sheriff (the Governor disagreed with her on this bill too) (SB145).

Sukey
Sukey

Thanks, for the info, she lost my vote.

Sukey
Sukey

My husband told me he had socks older than Amanda Curtis. This is a State of Seniors except for Missoula, which doesn't count as Montana because its mostly out-of-the-area coeds. I've nothing against her, except for her nose stud. I guess since Walsh plagerized his Master's Thesis, Democrats thought a teacher would be a good substitution.

montanamuralist
montanamuralist

Hopefully she will attack and attack hard and expose Daines for what he is. Should help get women to the polls as well that would not normally vote in an off year election. Daines has the advantage and many right wingers here are gloating over their impending victory ( Obama is still President fools) but may be good experience for the time we make Daines a one term and get rid of his sorry you know what.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Yes, lotsa soros and steyer $$$$$ will help her do that.

And yes, dear leader is still president, and his gross incompetence is noticed every day. Why people still blindly support him is beyond me.

Aerindel
Aerindel

Actually I don't think most people support him anymore, I don't anymore now that he has shown his true colors after Sandy Hook.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

Yes.....Obama is still.....the lame duck president. And what has the first half white president done with his 6 years in office?

Answer: Play 170 rounds of golf and cause panic and fear in every thrid world country.

Nothing to expose on Daines........tell us about your man.....Walsh. You still think he had PTSD....even though he was never diagnosed with it?

Progressives.......even when ferreted out......they still deny they are weasels.

Al Coholic
Al Coholic

Why do you like to do this ....... so much? You can get your point across just fine without breaking it up with periods, Ms. Imperfect. Good lord it gives me a headache to read sentences broken up with those periods.

Obama, the lame duck president? The guy who passed a major health insurance law, put a hard line on Russia, and has been stopped nonstop blocked by Republican'ts over every little thing he does? Of course you have to bring up race too, typical fundie nutter.

There's plenty to expose about a shady man like Daines, shame he's just too good at hiding it. Being shady and crooked is the only way to work in China like Daines did.

As for your last point, typical right wing nutter, attacking and provoking and never helping or agreeing. Keep it up lady, even with your horrible sentence formatting...

LyleMyhr
LyleMyhr

It's called...a literary pause. It places a pause in the sentence as if speaking. More emotive than a simple comma, because it gives...a pause.

Some people simply like to express emotions in writing that are similar to actual speech. Live with it...and move on.

Of course if you know HTML you could do a myriad of things to emote your writing.

LyleMyhr
LyleMyhr

"As for your last point, typical right wing nutter, attacking and provoking and never helping or agreeing."

Pot - kettle - BLACK

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

So live coverage is now a Twitter feed...interesting. I wonder what else is what in your world. Are cherries oranges?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.