NBC Montana told you Wednesday how U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced he wouldn’t run for re-election. Almost immediately, people starting kicking around former Governor Brian Schweitzer as a strong candidate for the Democratic primary.
We caught up with Schweitzer at his home on Georgetown Lake, near Anaconda, where he discussed the possibility of running. Schweitzer tells NBC Montana that -- for now -- he’s focused on saving jobs at the Stillwater Mine, near Billings. He’s part of an investor group headed by a New York Hedge Fund trying to take over the mine.
“Of course I’ve been spending a good part of my time in the last four months trying to save the Stillwater mine and 1700 jobs that we have in South Central Montana,” said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer says when he opens a newspaper and sees “Mine Saved,” then then he’ll start thinking about a future in politics.
“I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at this. It came as a complete surprise that Max Baucus has decided to come home and God Bless him, he's served in the United States Senate longer than any Montanan in history and I think all over Montana, people are shocked just like I am,” said Schweitzer.
NBC Montana asked Schweitzer about the online movements attempting to draft him to the Senate.
“I live on Georgetown Lake. People can yip all they want, but the only yipping I hear is the coyotes at night,” said Schweitzer. “I just...thank the people of Montana for giving Nancy and myself and our family an opportunity to serve for the last eight years as Governor and if there’s a future in public service, we'll, we'll look at that sometime in the future.”
He says the Stillwater Mine's fate will be more clear after a May 2 company election. Then he'll weigh his options.