WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans received a boost in their attempt to win back the majority in the Senate next year when a former Democratic governor bowed out of Montana's open Senate race.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says he will not run for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in 2014. Republicans have not settled on a candidate in Republican-leaning state, but Schweitzer's decision could give Republicans an opening.
Republicans need to pick up six seats to recapture the Senate majority. Democrats must defend 21 seats, including seven in largely rural states that Obama lost in 2012.
Obama hopes to send more Democrats to Congress in next year's election to help pass key items on his agenda like immigration and gun control.