The Dude abides ... in the Senate?

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More than 850 signatures have been added to an online petition urging actor Jeff Bridges to run for Montana’s open Senate seat.

The petition on Change.org says of Bridges: “He has loved Montana and all it represents since he first set up residence in Park County four decades ago.”

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The Academy Award-winning actor, widely known for playing Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski in 1998’s “The Big Lebowski,” is next set to appear in the title role of an adaptation of "The Giver."

The petition’s creator, Lizbeth Pratt, writes, “He has great name recognition! Charisma! Brains! ... We need The Dude to be Montana’s next U.S. Senator!”

The support for the 64-year-old entertainer comes after Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) withdrew from the Senate race last week amid reports he allegedly plagiarized a portion of his master’s thesis. Walsh, an Iraq War veteran, said that the research paper had become “a distraction.”

Democrats have scheduled a convention in Montana this weekend to select a new nominee for the party, ahead of an Aug. 20 deadline.

Bridges is a longtime Democratic supporter who has donated money to candidates and lawmakers, including former Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.) and Barbara Boxer (Calif.) and Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.). 

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