Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited'

Bullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited'

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBiden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel Press: Another billionaire need not apply Obama's former chief economist advising Buttigieg MORE (D), who officially launched his presidential campaign this week, said he was never going to run for the Senate despite the hopes of some Democratic officials who wanted him to try to unseat Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesPerry replacement moves closer to confirmation despite questions on Ukraine Fallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (R-Mont.) in 2020.

“I was never going to run for the Senate, and I do think that I have both the skills and abilities as an executive to bridge some divides,” Bullock said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowBiden town hall on CNN finishes third in cable news race Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings's widow, will run for his House seat 'Anonymous' gets media frenzy without pesky scrutiny for new book MORE Show” Wednesday evening.

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“I have great respect for the senators, but this is something that never really got me excited.”

Bullock’s declining of a Senate bid marks only one in a string of recruitment struggles by Senate Democrats and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Democrats have been unable to get their top-choice candidates to run in Senate races in Colorado, Texas and Georgia, with former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperKrystal Ball dismisses Rahm Emanuel's 'Medicare for All' criticism as a 'corporatist mantra' Trump says remark about Colorado border wall was made 'kiddingly' Colorado governor mocks Trump for saying he's building wall there MORE (Colo.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) opting instead, like Bullock, to make White House bids, while former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is considering a presidential campaign of her own. 

Rep. Cindy AxneCindy AxneIowa Democrat tops Ernst in third-quarter fundraising for Senate race Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule MORE (D-Iowa), who flipped a swing district last year and had been touted as a possible challenger to Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Turkish media paints White House visit as Erdoğan triumph over Trump Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House MORE (R), has said she will run for reelection in the House next year. 

Democrats have reportedly continued to press Bullock to abandon his White House run and instead launch a Senate bid, saying he could make a nearly unwinnable race for a Democrat a toss-up.

“I wish he would have run for the Senate,” Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzCongress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans Booker introduces bill banning facial recognition tech in public housing Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Hawaii) told Politico, adding that a Bullock bid would “change the game.”

“Sure, you’d rather have Beto [O‘Rourke] in the [Texas Senate] race. But it doesn’t go from solid red to toss-up instantly. This is the one that would change the game.”

Democrats are hoping to gain a handful of Senate seats next year to overcome Republicans’ 53-47 majority in the Upper Chamber. However, while Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats, only two GOP seats up for grabs are in states Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report What are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? MORE won in 2016.