August 7th, 2014
04:17 PM ET
7 years ago

Walsh drops out of Montana Senate race

(CNN) - Sen. John Walsh dropped out of the Senate race in Montana on Thursday amid allegations of plagiarism, a senior Democratic source familiar with the senator's thinking confirmed to CNN.

The move further hurts Democratic chances of maintaining control of the Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six seats in November to take the majority.

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The Democrat is accused of not properly attributing certain material in a paper to complete his master's degree at the Army War College.

The New York Times first reported last month that a review of a 2007 final paper suggests the decorated Iraq war veteran "appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors' works, with no attribution."

Material from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report and a 1998 essay by a Harvard scholar were included in the paper without proper sourcing, the Times reported.

The Pentagon announce last week its inspector general will review the college's academic investigation of the plagiarism issue.

Walsh's reelection campaign acknowledged "the citations were not all done correctly," but insisted it was an "unintentional mistake."

He later told the Associated Press he was suffering from post-traumatic stress after his Iraq deployment.

Walsh's decision to pull out of the race was first reported by the Billings Gazette.

In a letter to supporters obtained by the newspaper, Walsh said: “I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator. … You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will.”

Walsh was already facing a tough reelection challenge in the conservative state against GOP candidate Rep. Steve Daines.

It's "highly unlikely" that former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who declined to run for the seat earlier this year, will jump in, according to the same senior Democratic source.

Possible Democratic candidates who might run, according to a Montana Democratic source, are Nancy Keenan, the former president of the reproductive rights organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America; state Sen. Dave Wanzenried or state Rep. Franke Wilmer.

Montana law states that candidates must drop out at least 85 days before Election Day in order to be replaced on the ballot. It's up to the state party's central committee to select a replacement.

Walsh stepped down as Montana's lieutenant governor after he was appointed to the Senate in February to replace Max Baucus, who is now ambassador to China.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report

Filed under: 2014 • Montana • Senate
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    So if Sen. John Walsh dropped out of the Senate race in Montana on Thursday amid allegations of plagiarism, does that mean Rand Paul will also drop out of his bid for President because of his plagiarism in his speeches ?

    August 7, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    @it must be said, maybe if the ex governor of Virginia and his wifey don't end up in jail they could move to Montana and he can run. Oh wait, wrong party. Just another teaklan criminal.
    Plagiarism (like randy from KY) vs $156,000 of ill gotten gifts, private plane rides, pricey beach houses, catering for daughter's wedding and being able to drive a Lamborghini. Same difference.

    August 7, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Thisisnotamonarchy

    Another Democrat caught in a lie. How many have to go to jail or lie or cheat before Americans catch on?

    August 7, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. jeff

    So you blame PTSD on stupidity and laziness and not giving credit to those you borrowed the information from and that caused you to resign … Really now .. either your ego is out of check or you are just a cheat and liar and got caught

    August 7, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. mike matthews

    As one would expect of a plagiarist, Mr. Walsh blames something else (PTSD) for his plagiarism instead of his lack of personal integrity.

    August 7, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. 1alien12014

    couldn't he blame it on a wide stance?

    August 7, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Realist

    If he's resigning for plagiarism, when can we expect Joe Biden's resignation? Plagiarist through and through.

    August 7, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Glauber

    This happens way too often. Makes me question the motives of people who want to get into politics.

    August 7, 2014 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. rswon

    You've got to be kidding me. He's resigning due to a mistake in his Masters Thesis from 1998? That can't be the whole story. Either that or people really are that gullible, "Don't vote for him. He made a mistake in a college paper."

    August 7, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. fastfreddie

    Walsh's reelection campaign acknowledged "the citations were not all done correctly," but insisted it was an "unintentional mistake."
    Ah ya sure, typical Democrap

    August 7, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. al mulino

    Last 8 yrs. under repulican President S&

    Last 8 yrs. under repulicans S&P 500 Lost 40%. 6yrs. so far under democrats gained 143%.also look at business charts since 1900 to see how business has done under both parties.

    August 7, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. nunYerDamnBizness

    God in heaven save us from these republicans, I really can't stand them anymore. Just how many stupid people has the USA bred? It's ridiculous how ignorant they are to every life form on this planet. Humans with low IQ's should not be allowed to breed.

    Please God I only ask this one thing. Please destroy the tea party, fix congress, get someone to shave Donald trumps head, give Mitt Romney a paper cut and put a permanent sock in Sarah Palin's mouth.

    August 7, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. McBob79

    It's embarrassing but the guy didn't need to drop out. Of course, he did because that big loser Harry Reid told him he needed to drop out because he's a desperate sad little pig.

    August 7, 2014 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  14. Al

    PTSD, what a joke. This guys was just a player that got caught with is hand in several cookie jars. Now he wants to use the PTSD card. Had he been from Utah he would have fit right in.

    August 7, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. kenweil

    Sly that is pretty comical what you wrote. Progressives are still a minority in the democratic party and are just the same thing as the tea party. A fringe element destroying their party just like the tea party is destroying the GOP. It is time to kick both out and bring back middle of the road people so things can get done. Call them RINO or DINO for all i care. They are what makes this country great, not the fringe elements.

    August 7, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. qqqqqjim

    The difference between plagiarism and scholarship could be as little as a few footnotes.

    August 7, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. Robert Atanasio

    We may be in for a real mess. Watch the Wacho Republicans take control of the House and Senate and Hillary wins the White House. Now nothing will get done.

    August 7, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. Loathstheright

    Republicans are desperate to destroy the federal government and end the union so they can bring back EPA, no SS, no Medicare, no FDA, no DoE....then they can bring back slavery and the 1800's.

    August 7, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. macatak59


    August 7, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  20. wjm980

    If Walsh had been a Republican instead of a lib, this would have been a "front page" story instead of a politalticker blog.. It doesn't really matter. The libs are losing a Senate seat, and Harry "The Cadaver" Reid will probably resign in a snit, when the libs lose the Senate altogether.

    August 7, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  21. j. lopez

    who cares????

    The next senate will be Tea Party red. Time to impeach that illegally elected president. Obama was born under a tree
    in Kenya.

    August 7, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. 83rd CST

    John Walsh wasn't brought down by his opponents; he was brought down by his low intelligence and poor character. This has been an embarrassing episode in Montana political history.

    August 7, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  23. He's A Chronic Liar

    So, it is true – Democrats really don't have any original ideas.

    August 7, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Montana Forester

    Now if we could get the rest of the phoney, lying, unaccountable politicians to resign! From both damn parties.

    August 7, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. Throw OUT all Democrat D-Baggers from Congress

    From the Democrat Party, the party of the Liar-in-Chief, 2013 Liar of the Year Obama, comes another cheating lying D-bag that gets caught. America is now well aware of the lying Democrat D-bags and is rooting them out.

    August 8, 2014 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
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