Daines fends off challenge to win second Montana Senate term

Daines fends off challenge to win second Montana Senate term
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesBill honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden's desk The Memo: Much-criticized Trump policy puts Biden in a vise The good, bad, and ugly of Tester's Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act MORE (R-Mont.) won a second term in the Senate, defeating Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockDark money group spent 0M on voter turnout in 2020 In Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line 65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D) in one of the most competitive races in the country.

The Associated Press called the race for Daines shortly before 2 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

Daines’s victory keeps Republicans in control of a seat Democrats had seen as one of their best pickup opportunities in their quest to gain control of the upper chamber. 

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Daines received helped from President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE, who, throughout the course of the campaign, credited Daines with helping to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which offers permanent funding each year toward conservation efforts.  

The bill was considered a bipartisan success, passed with board support from both parties after the Trump budget repeatedly sought to cut funding for the same program the bill supports.

Daines’s relatively straightforward path to reelection was rocked when a term-limited Bullock entered the race after his failed presidential bid. 

Daines repeatedly cast a Bullock victory as having the potential to lead to “liberal tyranny.”