Governor Bullock to Choose Replacement with Senator Baucus' Exit - News, Sports and Weather

Governor Bullock to Choose Replacement with Senator Baucus' Exit

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It looks like our own Senator Max Baucus is headed to Beijing, now that Obama has officially announced his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to China.

ABC Montana's Joe Moeller has more from Helena.

Friday in Washington President Barack Obama formally announced his plan to nominate Senator Max Baucus to serve as the next Ambassador to China, who would succeed Ambassador Gary Locke who announced his plans to leave the diplomatic post.

Obama said Baucus has worked to strengthen the relations between the U.S. and China,

"The economic agreements he helped forge have created millions of American jobs and added billions of dollars to our economy, and he's perfectly suited to build on that progress in his new role."

"Honored I am very humbled and it is very rewarding to be able to continue public service." said Senator Max Baucus. 

What happens from here is that Democratic Governor Steve Bullock will get to name the replacement of Baucus, but many are wondering who exactly will that be, and some have speculations.

"You know the Governor has to make the choice, it is his to make. If I were he I would first consider Brian Schweitzer, I know Brian has said no, but I think as an honor to him and a tribute for the good work that he did he should be given the opportunity to say yes one more time.

A candidate for Baucus' seat and former Lt. Governor, John Bohilnger, has his recommendations, and hopes this will keep the race fair. The question has been raised as to whether this is a strategic move to keep the Democratic seat, as the new appointed senator will become the incumbent if they chose to run in the upcoming election.

"I would hope that the Governor would chose someone that would be there as a holding position and one that would keep the door open for equal opportunity. Nobody in Montana likes an unfair advantage and I think that the governor should be concerned about."