Champ Edmunds Calls Daines a “Middle of the Road” Conservative, Says Republican Party is Meddling in Primary
As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Montana state representative Champ Edmunds has a difficult path to victory. Although Edmunds will no longer be running against an entrenched incumbent now that Max Baucus is retiring, if Edmunds decides to stay in the Senate race, he will go head-to-head with Steve Daines, who has apparently received the Republican party's blessing in the primary.
Originally, Edmunds said he would leave the Senate race if Daines stepped in, but ever since the federal shutdown ended, Edmunds has been reconsidering that offer. Edmunds claims that Daines has lost his conservative credentials.
"I decided to rethink that because at the time, he hadn't made any votes, and now he has made a lot of votes, and he's pretty middle of the road," Edmunds said. "He's not the conservative candidate that we had thought that we had hired when we voted for him. I'm looking at staying in the Senate race instead of moving over because I believe Montana deserves to have a conservative choice."
Edmunds says that in mid-November, the Republican party began spending money to help Daines win the primary. Of course, this puts Edmunds at a disadvantage. Edmunds believes the Republican party should stay out of primary races and stick to helping candidates win races against Democrats rather than members of their own party.
"I am not the chosen one of the Republican establishment," Edmunds said. "The Republican establishment voted this past Friday (November 8) to allow the national Republican party to raise money, and spend money in the state, on Steve Daines. That's a change of direction. They're meddling in a place where they haven't meddled before. They're panning a conservative candidate."
Despite news coverage to the contrary, Edmunds said he hasn't made the decision to stay in the Senate race. He said he will declare his intentions before the end of November.