HELENA, Mont. — Sen. Jon Tester's staff is walking back comments by the Montana Democrat that appear to confirm Gov. Steve Bullock plans to run for U.S. Senate.
Tester was asked about the Democratic governor's plans for a Senate run during an appearance at American University Tuesday.
Tester responded, "Yeah, he's running."
Tester chief of staff Aaron Murphy said Wednesday that the senator thought the question was whether Bullock plans to run for president.
Bullock is in his final term. He created a political-action committee and traveled several times to Iowa and New Hampshire as he explores a possible 2020 presidential bid.
Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is up for re-election in 2020 and no clear Democratic challenger has emerged.
Bullock chief of staff Tom Lopach says the governor is focused on the upcoming legislative session.
Aaron Murphy, Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Jon Tester, today released the following statement:
"Last evening at a political forum at American University, Senator Tester misheard a question about Governor Bullock and his future. Governor Bullock was the only Democrat in the nation to win a statewide re-election in a state President Trump won in 2016, and Jon knows the Governor's focus now is to keep bringing Republicans and Democrats together, to fight dark money in politics, and to find effective policy solutions for Montanans."