Montana papers call for Walsh to end Senate campaign

Greg Nash

Two of Montana's largest papers are calling on Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) to end his election bid following revelations he plagiarized much of his Army War College final paper.

The Billings Gazette and the Missoulian both blasted Walsh in their Sunday op-eds, calling for Walsh to suspend his campaign.

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"Having repeatedly said that he wants to do the honorable thing, Walsh should stop campaigning and do his utmost to serve Montanans well in the remainder of his brief Senate appointment. That is the honorable course," writes the Gazette's editorial board. "We call on Walsh to devote all his time to serving as U.S. senator and bag the campaigning."

The Missoulian went a step farther, suggesting that he could also immediately resign.

"Walsh could resign his Senate seat immediately. [Gov. Steve] Bullock could then appoint a temporary replacement who isn’t running for election, as many Montanans had hoped he would do earlier this year, before he went with Walsh. That replacement could see that the legislation Walsh supported received continued support," writes the Missoulian's editorial board.

"But if Walsh doesn’t do that, at a minimum, he should drop out of the Senate race. He has until Aug. 11 to do so and get his name removed from the ballot, which would allow the Montana Democratic Party to name a replacement candidate by Aug. 20 — just in time to make sure that candidate’s name appears on the ballot," that paper continues.

The calls are the latest sign that Walsh is a dead man running in the wake of his plagiarism scandal. Walsh, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year, was already facing an uphill battle, and it's almost impossible to see how he bounces back against Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) following the blowback from the scandal.

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