Bullock squashes talk of Senate run after presidential bid

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FILE - In this Sunday, June 9, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bullock announced Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, that he is ending his Democratic presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Wednesday that he doesn’t know what’s next for him after his longshot presidential bid fizzled, but he knows one thing for sure: He’s not running for Senate.

Bullock said unequivocally and repeatedly that he won’t challenge first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines during the governor’s first news conference since he suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Monday.

“I’ve said before, during and after that I’m not going to be running for Senate,” he said. “I’ve made that clear, that’s just not what I want to do.”

That may dash the hopes of some Democrats who saw Bullock as the party’s best chance for flipping Daines’ seat. Democrats would need to gain four seats — or three seats and the vice-president’s tie-breaking vote — to win control of the Senate.

Bullock declined to say why he won’t run, just that it is a personal decision.

The governor said he will spend his final year in office thinking about his next move, and he would consider a Cabinet position if a Democrat defeats President Donald Trump next year.

“If a president-elect called, you’d have to take the call,” Bullock said. “But right now, look, I’m focusing, I still get to do this job for a year and there’s still a lot more to do.”

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