Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Montana Democrats pick new Senate nominee, state Rep. Amanda Curtis, who faces uphill race

Montana Democrats on Saturday selected a new nominee for U.S. Senate, tapping first-term state Rep. Amanda Curtis as their candidate. But she faces an uphill climb, to say the least, for a seat that Democrats are widely expected to lose to the Republicans.

"If we win here in Montana, outspent and outgunned in a race where we were left for dead, it will send a message to Washington, D.C., that we want change," Curtis said in a speech to the special convention before the vote, the Associated Press reports.

Democratic incumbent Sen. John Walsh, who was appointed earlier this year, dropped out of his campaign for a full term following a scandal involving extensive plagiarism in his 2007 thesis at the Army War College, which he blamed in part on struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after his service in Iraq. The replacement nomination of Amanda Curtis has come after more well known possible candidates, including former Gov. Brian Schweitzer and even the actor Jeff Bridges, declined to run for the new vacancy.

"I'm not a sacrificial lamb," Curtis also told The Montana Standard earlier this week. "I'm going to win and I'm going to come out swinging for the fences and I believe this is a winnable campaign."

However, the political world now largely assumes that this race is beyond the reach of Democrats, and that Republican Rep. Steve Daines is on track to pick up the seat in November.