MISSOULA — U.S. Sen. John Walsh said Tuesday he plans to finish his Senate term “very strong” after withdrawing as a candidate for the seat in November’s election.
Walsh spoke to reporters after a panel discussion on Social Security and Medicare in Missoula, though he mostly declined to address the plagiarism allegations he said became a distraction that led him to drop out of the Senate race last week.
“I’ve learned growing up in Butte, Montana, that when you make a mistake, get knocked down, that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish this term in the U.S. Senate very strong,” he said.
He said he has dealt with tougher situations than this, citing his combat duty in Iraq and his son’s service in the military.
Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Walsh in February when Max Baucus resigned from the Senate to become the U.S. ambassador to China. Walsh’s term ends in January.
“I’m focused on doing whatever I can to help the citizens of Montana, and that’s going to be my focus for the rest of my time in the U.S. Senate,” Walsh said Tuesday.
The U.S. Army War College will begin its investigation Friday into allegations that Walsh plagiarized portions of his research paper at the U.S. Army War College, where he received a master’s degree in 2007.
The next day, delegates to a special nominating convention will meet in Helena to choose a replacement candidate to run against Republican Rep. Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots in the Nov. 4 election.