Former Montana Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D) has decided to stay in the race against Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) despite Walsh's appointment to Congress.


Bohlinger had previously indicated he was likely to drop out if Walsh was chosen to replace former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) when Baucus was appointed ambassador to China. But he has changed his mind, criticizing the "Washington power brokers" who orchestrated Walsh's appointment.

He compared Walsh's appointment was like giving him a 40-yard lead in a 100-yard dash, but said, "If the person with the 40-yard head start should stumble, if he trips, then I can win," according to the Helena Independent-Record.

Bohlinger, a former Republican who served as former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's (D) lieutenant governor, could prove to be a thorn in Walsh's side, as he looks to unite Democrats and win over the state's independents in his uphill race against Rep. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesLand conservation tax incentives should inspire charitable giving, not loopholes Montana governor visiting Iowa amid talk of possible 2020 bid Will Senate GOP try to pass a budget this year? MORE (R-Mont.).

It's unclear if Bohlinger will be able to draw much attention — even before Walsh was appointed, the then-sitting lieutenant governor was the clear front-runner in the race. He has raised nearly $600,000 by the end of 2013, while Bohlinger had raised just $7,000, plus a $15,000 loan to himself.