HELENA – U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, the leading Republican candidate for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat, reported Monday he raised $1 million in campaign funds the last three months of 2013, pushing his campaign war chest to $1.9 million.
Daines is one of six people running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and so far appears to be the clear leader in campaign cash.
None of the other candidates has released official fundraising totals as filed with the Federal Election Commission. The deadline for filing that information is Friday.
Other Republicans in the race are state Rep. Champ Edmunds and David Leaser, a political unknown and air-traffic manager at the Kalispell airport.
The Democrats in the race are Lt. Gov. John Walsh, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and Wilsall rancher and attorney Dirk Adams.
Daines said in a statement Monday that he and his wife, Cindy, are humbled by the financial support his candidacy is getting from every county in the state.
“As I travel across our state, Montanans continue to share that to get our country back on track, we need to bring real change to Washington and work toward solutions that grow our economy, stop Washington’s reckless spending and protect Montanans from Obamacare,” he said.
In the year since he won election as Montana’s only U.S. House member, Daines has raised almost $2.4 million in campaign funds.
During the last three months of 2013, the Daines campaign took in $621,000 from individuals, nearly $217,000 from political action committees representing various interests and another $199,000 from joint fundraising committees, which are committees that raise money for more than one campaign.
For 2013, Daines raised $1.33 million from individuals, $734,000 from PACs and $302,000 from the joint committees.
Baucus, a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, announced last April that he wouldn’t run for re-election. He’s likely to step down from his seat within the next month, after he’s confirmed as the next U.S. ambassador to China.
Baucus’s confirmation hearing for the ambassadorship, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is Tuesday.
Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, will appoint a successor to fill out the remainder of Baucus’s term as soon as Baucus resigns his seat.