Sabato: Alabama Senate race now leans Democratic
Schweitzer rules out run for Walsh's seat
"Although I'm flattered to be on some of the lists of potential U.S. Senate candidates, I respectfully decline to seek the nomination," he announced on Facebook shortly after Walsh's decision to step aside became public.
"I enjoyed being in public service as Governor of Montana. I believe in citizen government - where citizens step up to serve then step aside for others to do the same. My deepest thanks to John Walsh for his continued service. I look forward to supporting whoever the next nominee turns out to be," Schweitzer continued.
Democrats are scrambling to find another recruit following Walsh's decision not to seek reelection, announced Thursday afternoon.
Schweitzer had already turned down calls to run for the seat before Democrats had recruited Walsh to run last year. Most observers thought it would be a long shot to convince him to change his mind this time around.
Whoever does run will start off as an underdog against Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and will have to play catch-up in fundraising and organization.