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

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

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockDemocratic candidates face hard choices as 2020 field winnows The Hill's 12:30 Report: Stocks sink as Trump fights with Fed, China The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? 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 DainesThe 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal 5 takeaways from combative Democratic debate GOP senator introduces resolution to formally condemn socialism 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 MaddowThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Democratic strategist praises Inslee for elevating issue of climate change ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump 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 HickenlooperDemocratic candidates face hard choices as 2020 field winnows If the Democratic debates were pro wrestling, de Blasio is comic relief Hickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives 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 AxneFormer 'Apprentice' contestant ranks Trump next to Mother Teresa on women's issues Farmers say Trump broke promise on ethanol with waivers to refineries Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump MORE (D-Iowa), who flipped a swing district last year and had been touted as a possible challenger to Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBill Maher says he's 'glad' David Koch is dead Five things to know about David Koch A cash advance to consider 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 SchatzBrazil's Bolsonaro reverses on Amazon, announces plans to send armed forces to fight wildfires Senate Democrat threatening to suspend funding to Brazil amid Amazon fires 'Medicare for All' complicates Democrats' pitch to retake Senate 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 ClintonTrump preps conspiracy theory to explain faltering economy The ideological divide on vaping has a clear winner: Smokers Biden struggles to hit it off with millennials MORE won in 2016.