Posted: Apr 23, 2013 2:54 PM by MTN News
WASHINGTON, DC - Tuesday's announcement that Senator Max Baucus has decided against seeking a seventh term surprised folks from Washington, DC to Montana.
The Democrat announced that he won't be running for reelection in 2014 saying that "after much consideration and many conversations with my wife Mel and our family, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2014. I will serve out my term, and then it will be time to go home to Montana."
Fellow Senator Jon Tester issued a statement Tuesday, lauding the state's senior senator for the work he's done while in Washington, DC.
"Max's number one priority has been - and will continue to be - making Montana a better place to live, work and raise a family. For years, Max has stood up for Montana values in Washington, and he has a lot to be proud of. I will miss his counsel and friendship in the Senate, but look forward to working with him for the next two years to move our state and our nation forward. I wish him and Mel nothing but the best as they spend the rest of their lives enjoying Big Sky Country."
Baucus who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, is currently one of the longest tenured Democrats in the U.S. Senate and serves as the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
Republican Congressman Steve Daines also issued a statement after hearing the news that Baucus will be heading back to Montana once his current term ends.
"For four decades, Senator Max Baucus has been a dedicated public servant for the people of Montana. I appreciate his lifetime of service to our state, and wish him and Melodee the very best as they finish this term and move forward with the next chapter of their lives. There are many challenges facing our country, and we need strong leadership in the U.S. Senate that puts partisanship and politics aside and puts the people of Montana and the future of our country first. It is critically important that this seat be filled by someone prepared to change the direction and culture of our nation."
Former Baucus communications director Barrett Kaiser told MTN that everyone is surprised by the retirement, but that as his friend, he is happy for his new life ahead in Montana.