John Walsh has been sworn in as the new senator from Montana.
Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath in the Senate chamber on Tuesday. Walsh replaces Max Baucus, the former Democratic senator tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.
The Senate confirmed Baucus' nomination last week. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Walsh, the state's lieutenant governor, to replace Baucus.
Walsh had announced his candidacy for the seat after Baucus said last year that he would retire after six terms. Walsh is likely to face Republican Rep. Steve Daines in the contest for the open seat.
Walsh spent 33 years in the Montana National Guard, and he commanded more than 700 troops in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after Montana’s newest U.S. Senator, John Walsh, was sworn in as the 22nd senator in Montana’s history:
“John Walsh is a man of strong character whose principles stem from a lifetime spent under Montana’s Big Sky and in service to our country. The U.S. Senate needs the kind of courage and sound judgment that John brings. I am proud to serve alongside John as we stand up for all Montanans and bring more Montana common-sense to Washington, D.C.”
Walsh was born in Butte and attended Carroll College in Helena. He served in the Montana National Guard for 33 years and commanded over 500 Montana National Guardsmen in Iraq in 2004-2005. He became Adjutant General in 2008. In 2013, Montanans elected him to be the state’s Lieutenant Governor.
Walsh replaces Senator Max Baucus, who this month was confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China.