Sen. John Walsh said Thursday he is pulling out of the Senate race because his campaign was distracted by the controversy over allegations that he plagiarized a U.S. Army War College research paper. Walsh, a Democrat, said he decided to drop out of the race after canceling campaign events this week so he and his family could gather in his Helena home to decide his political future. Walsh will serve out the rest of his Senate term, which ends in early January 2015. The New York Times reported July 23 that Walsh had plagiarized large portions of the research paper in 2007. The plagiarism charge has dominated Montana news since then. Editorials in the state’s largest daily newspapers had called on Walsh to drop out of the race because of the plagiarism. “I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator,” Walsh said in a statement to supporters. “You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will.”
The Montana Democratic Party now will choose a replacement for Walsh to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, along with Republican Rep. Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots.
The party must select a new Senate candidate at a nominating convention by Aug. 20. (See related story.)
Walsh drove from Helena to Billings on Thursday to personally tell his staff of his decision before it was released publicly.
Full Article: Walsh drops out of U.S. Senate race.