Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus will retire next year, The Washington Post reported Tuesday morning.
A Democratic official confirmed the report to The Daily Caller.
Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is one of several Democrats who would have faced a potentially tough re-election in a red-leaning state. He was one of the four such Democrats who joined most Republicans in voting against the background checks amendment to the gun control bill proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, a vote that indicated he was planning to run for re-election.
The Washington Post says former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is the likely Democratic nominee to run for Baucus’ seat. The former Governor is also considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate. A person familiar with Schweitzer’s thinking told TheDC he is leaning toward running.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a gleeful statement on the retirement.
“Just days after calling ObamaCare a ‘train wreck,’ its architect Max Baucus waved the white flag rather than face voters,” the NRSC Executive Director Rob Collins said in a statement.
“The 2014 electoral map is in free–fall for Democrats, who were already facing a daunting challenge,” he added.
The Democratic Senatorial Committee issued a statement saying Baucus “has been an invaluable leader in our caucus, and he will be sorely missed.”
“Democrats have had a great deal of electoral success in Montana over the last decade, and I am confident that will continue,” continued DSCC Chair Michael Bennett. “Democrats built an unprecedented ground game in Montana in 2012 when Senator Tester was reelected, and we will continue to invest all the resources necessary to hold this seat.”
Baucus’ office did not immediately respond to request for comment.