Local Elections

Walsh taking 'personal time'


HELENA, Mont. - A campaign spokeswoman says Sen. John Walsh is taking personal time at his Helena home but declined to answer questions about whether he plans to remain in the U.S. Senate race amid allegations that he plagiarized a research paper.
Spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said Wednesday that Walsh took a personal day on Tuesday. She had no further comment.
Billy McWilliams of the Gallatin County Democrats says the Walsh campaign postponed a Wednesday backyard meet-and-greet hosted by Women For Walsh and a Friday talk about public lands.
Walsh has come under pressure amid allegations that he plagiarized a 2007 research project while attending the U.S. Army War College.  The editorial boards of Montana's three largest daily newspapers have called for him to withdraw his candidacy.

The deadline for Walsh to pull his name from the November ballot is just 5 days away, on August 11.

A Missoula election worker we talked to said a withdrawal at this stage of the race would be highly unusual.

"I would say so, because it takes a lot to get to that position, and earn that seat, that position on the ballot," said Missoula County Election Coordinator Rebecca Connors. "I think this is kind of an unlikely case."

If Walsh pulls his name from the ballot, the Montana Democratic Party would then have until August 20 to appoint a new candidate.

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