HELENA – The group that led the movement to draft former Gov. Brian Schweitzer to run for the U.S. Senate now wants him to reconsider his decision to forgo the race.
On Saturday, Schweitzer told reporters he had decided not to run for the Senate because he wants to remain in Montana.
Spearheading the effort is the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, based in Washington, D.C. The group said its “Draft Brian Schweitzer” effort recruited more than 600 Montana volunteers, raised more than $48,000 and gathered nearly 4,000 in-state supporters and 23,000 others nationally.
“Conversations are happening at a very high level and organizing is happening at a very grass-roots level about urging Brian to reconsider,” said Adam Green, co-founder of PCCC.
There has been no indication from Schweitzer or those closest to him that he is reconsidering his decision not to run for the Senate.
Green provided quotes from seven Montanans urging Schweitzer to change his mind.
“I am devastated that Schweitzer won’t run,” said one of them, Rebecca Harris Kotula of Missoula. “While I sympathize with Gov. Schweitzer’s preference to remain in Montana, I resent that the will of Montana for him to run (practically unchallenged) to represent Montana in the U.S. Senate is not enough to move his conscience. That leaves Montana and the nation vulnerable to yet another Republican member of Congress.”
Schweitzer had been gearing up to run, before telling reporters Saturday morning that he didn’t want to seek the Senate seat being vacated by longtime U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.
“I’m a doer,” Schweitzer said on Saturday. “I’m used to being in charge of things, getting things done. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate is a place where things die.”