Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

New candidate joins race in time for Dem convention


A man with ties to this part of north-central Montana announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate just in time for the Democratic state convention, held over the weekend in Helena.

John Mues of Loma said in his announcement Thursday about running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate that his credentials, along with serving as a U.S. naval officer who served in combat situations including Operation Iraqi Freedom and working as a senior engineer in the energy sector. Mues also has taught on Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

Mues joins Liberian-born Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins, who defeated incumbent Mayor James Smith in the 2017, in challenging first-term U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., in the 2017 election.

Daines was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, taking the seat that had been held by former Montana legislator and Lt. Gov. Denny Rehberg. Rehberg forbore running for re-election to the U.S. House in a failed bid to defeat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who defeated him to win a second term in the Senate.

In 2014, Daines successfully ran for his first term in the Senate to take the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

The race for the U.S. House, being vacated by Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., has filled up since Gianforte announced he is making another bid to be Montana’s governor.

Democrat Kathleen Williamson, a former state legislator from Bozeman, and Rep. Tom Winter, D-Missoula, both have declared as candidates in that race.

After Gianforte made his announcement, Republican state office holders Corey Stapleton, secretary of state, and Matt Rosendale, state auditor, both announced they were running  for the House. Stapleton, who had announced as a candidate for governor, changed his race during the Republican state convention, where Gianforte made his gubernatorial announcement. 

Lewis and Clark County GOP Chair Joe Dooling, who made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Montana House of Representatives in 2014, also is on the Republican ticket in the U.S. House race.

Gianforte faces Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Kalispell state Sen. Al Olszewski, R-Kalispell, in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Fox and Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, are terming out of their current positions. Bullock is campaigning as a Democrat for U.S. president.

In the Democratic primary for governor, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, also a former state legislator, faces House Minority Whip Casey Schreiner of Great Falls and former state Rep. Reilly Neill of Missoula.


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