Montana Democrats Select Walsh Senate Replacement

first_imgMontana Democrats on Saturday selected a little-known state lawmaker named Amanda Curtis as their candidate for U.S. Senate after Sen. John Walsh dropped out amid plagiarism allegations from his time at the U.S. Army War College.Curtis, a first-term representative from Butte, now faces the challenge of introducing herself to Montana voters and making her case for them to choose her over well-known and well-funded Republican Rep. Steve Daines with less than three months until the Nov. 4 elections.“If we win here in Montana, outspent and outgunned in a race where we were left for dead, it will send a message to Washington, D.C., that we want change,” she said in a speech before the vote.Republicans need a net gain of six seats in November to take Senate control, and Montana is a prime target to pick up a seat that’s been in Democratic hands for more than a century.The Senate race was seen as a tough one for Democrats to win even with the incumbent Walsh in the running. Now Daines is expected to have a bigger advantage going against a newcomer who doesn’t have his name recognition or $1.7 million campaign bank account.But Democratic Party delegates at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds insisted the race is still winnable.“We need to keep this seat, period,” said Judith Forseth, a delegate from southwestern Montana’s Park County. “I’m not ready to concede.”Montana has never elected a woman to the U.S. Senate. It has sent one woman to the U.S. House, Jeannette Rankin, who was the first woman elected to Congress in 1916. She was elected again in 1940.Curtis, 34, is a high school math teacher. She emerged as the front-runner earlier in the week after she received the endorsement of Montana’s largest unions and high-profile party leaders said they weren’t interested in running.On Saturday, she appealed to working-class voters and portrayed Daines as being in the camp of corporations and the wealthy. She said her Senate campaign would focus on issues that include campaign finance reform, tax reform and funding for schools and infrastructure that would create jobs.“This is the worst job market in a generation, but the stock market is doing just fine. Wall Street is doing great,” Curtis said. “This recovery has not reached the rest of us.”Daines’ campaign released a statement after the selection that did not mention Curtis by name but said voters in November will have a clear choice between the candidates.“I respect Montanans’ judgment to decide the path that is best for our state, and remain focused on fighting for positive solutions that protect Montanans from Washington overreach, grow our economy, and get our country back on track,” Daines said in the statement.The vote was 82 votes for Curtis and 46 votes for Wilsall rancher Dirk Adams, a political newcomer who lost the Democratic primary to Walsh on June 3. There were 129 delegates from across the state who attended, but not all voted, said Democratic Party spokesman Bryan Watt.The convention, organized hastily to beat an Aug. 20 deadline to submit a new candidate to the Montana Secretary of State, was the first of its kind for the party, Watt said.Delegates understand that time is short to salvage a victory after Walsh’s sudden departure from the race.“The ability to brand anything, a candidate, a product, is really tough in three months,” said Ravalli County delegate Lee Tickell. “But it can be done, if we come out of here with enthusiasm.”Montana Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Walsh, who was his lieutenant governor, in February when Max Baucus resigned the Senate after 35 years to become ambassador to China.That gave Walsh the incumbency and a boost in fundraising, but his candidacy faltered when The New York Times published a story in July that showed Walsh used other scholars’ work extensively in a research paper written in 2007.Walsh said he made an unintentional mistake that he partly blamed on symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He withdrew his candidacy last week when the criticism would not die down.Walsh said the allegations were a distraction and that he would focus on serving the rest of his Senate term.The U.S. Army War College began an investigation into the plagiarism allegations on Friday.Walsh was a colonel in the Montana National Guard when he was studying for a master’s degree at the college. He capped his 33-year military career as Montana’s adjutant general before resigning to become Bullock’s running mate in 2012.The convention’s delegates gave Walsh a standing ovation before the results of the vote were announced.In a statement later, Walsh said: “I thank the Montana Democratic Party for putting faith in Amanda, and now all Democrats can stand together to serve our most vulnerable neighbors, to protect our clean air, water and public land, to fight for good education, and to protect Social Security and Medicare.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

What to expect from each of Ravens’ 2016 draft picks

first_imgThe picks are in for the 2016 draft, so what should we expect from each of the Ravens’ 11 selections?Below is an early look at how each rookie fits this coming season and in the future:OT Ronnie StanleyDrafted: First round (sixth overall) from Notre Dame2016 projected role: The Ravens have sent plenty of mixed signals regarding the future of Eugene Monroe over the last several months, but Stanley will start at either left tackle or left guard.Long-term view: It’s conceivable that the Ravens keep Monroe around for one more season, but the fact that they drafted two offensive tackles makes you think they’re in position to cut him and save $6.5 million in base salary for 2016. The expectation is that Stanley can be their left tackle for the next decade.OLB Kamalei CorreaDrafted: Second round (42nd overall) from Boise State2016 projected role: With Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and Za’Darius Smith all ahead of him on the depth chart, Correa will likely serve as a situational edge rusher and special-teams contributor.Long-term view: The 245-pound edge defender will need to get stronger for an every-down role and to consistently wreak havoc in the pocket, but he will use his speed to try to blow by slower linemen. The Ravens wouldn’t have used a second-round if they didn’t think he can be an eventual successor to Suggs.DE Bronson KaufusiDrafted: Third round (70th overall) from Brigham Young2016 projected role: The 6-foot-6, 285-pound defensive end figures to be a part of the rotation at the 5-technique spot and will likely compete with Lawrence Guy and Brent Urban for the starting job.Long-term view: An opposing coach labeled Kaufusi a “modern-day Goliath” last year and the Ravens hope he can be a starter and an interior rusher in passing situations. Ozzie Newsome passed on the chance to draft DeForest Buckner in the first round, so Kaufusi’s development will be worth watching.CB Tavon YoungDrafted: Fourth round (104th overall) from Temple2016 projected role: After impressing the Ravens at the Senior Bowl, Young enters the mix with a chance to compete with veteran Kyle Arrington at the nickel spot and to contribute on special teams.Long-term view: Young was a feisty competitor in college who started games in all four of his years with the Owls, but the 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive back doesn’t project to be much more than a slot corner. The Ravens hope he shows more than recent mid-round picks such as Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown.WR Chris MooreDrafted: Fourth round (107th overall) from Cincinnati2016 projected role: The 6-foot-1 wideout will compete for playing time in four-wide sets, but he is more likely to contribute on special teams if he’s to be active on Sundays as a rookie.Long-term view: With Steve Smith and Mike Wallace potentially only in Baltimore for the coming season and Kamar Aiken set to become a free agent after 2016, Moore provides another deep-ball option to go with 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman. In a perfect world, both Perriman and Moore take major steps in 2016 and the Ravens re-sign Aiken as the possession receiver for 2017 and beyond.OT Alex LewisDrafted: Fourth round (130th overall) from Nebraska2016 projected role: His role will largely depend on what happens with Monroe and Stanley, but Lewis should have every chance to unseat third-year lineman James Hurst as the top reserve tackle.Long-term view: With Monroe on his way out sooner or later and right tackle Rick Wagner scheduled to hit the free-agent market after 2016, Lewis could find himself competing for a starting role next year. Despite questions about his quickness, he has a shot to be a starting right tackle or a starting guard.DT Willie HenryDrafted: Fourth round (132nd overall) from Michigan2016 projected role: It won’t be easy for Henry to crack the defensive line rotation, but his explosiveness and ability as a rusher could put him in the mix as an interior lineman in passing situations.Long-term view: Henry brings versatility to the defensive line, but he didn’t show great awareness and consistency as a run defender at Michigan, making you wonder if he’s suited to be more of a third-down player. If Brandon Williams departs as a free agent after 2016, Henry could quickly see a larger role.RB Kenneth DixonDrafted: Fourth round (134th overall) from Louisiana Tech2016 projected role: His dynamic ability as a receiver out of the backfield will quickly put him in the offensive mix as a rookie, and he could challenge for the starting role sooner rather than later.Long-term view: Dixon has the track record and skill set to rise above the other Baltimore running backs who may all be best suited to be No. 2 options. However, the 5-10, 215-pound back carried the ball 801 times in his college career, making you wonder if that could limit his shelf life at the NFL level.OLB Matt JudonDrafted: Fifth round (146th overall) from Grand Valley State2016 projected role: Making the adjustment from the Division II level won’t be easy, but Judon could eventually work his way into a situational pass rusher role and contribute on special teams as a rookie.Long-term view: The Ravens loved how he tested at the scouting combine and hope he will be the next Division II product to excel for them, but there will be a learning curve to develop more sophisticated pass-rush moves against better competition. This pick has plenty of upside, but patience will be the key.WR Keenan ReynoldsDrafted: Sixth round (182nd overall) from Navy2016 projected role: The record-setting Midshipmen quarterback will practice as a receiver, but his best chance of making the roster and contributing as a rookie will probably come as a return specialist.Long-term view: The Ravens hope his athleticism can translate to the receiver position with visions of him working effectively out of the slot and being able to run a variety of plays. His 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame isn’t ideal for the NFL, but other college quarterbacks of similar build such as Antwaan Randle El and Julian Edelman made quick transitions to the NFL and you shouldn’t doubt Reynolds’ work ethic.CB Maurice CanadyDrafted: Sixth round (209th overall) from Virginia2016 projected role: The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back had a disappointing senior season at Virginia, but he will have a chance to compete for a roster spot in a light group of cornerbacks.Long-term view: Canady struggled to defend the deep ball and will need to play with more confidence than he did toward the end of his collegiate career. His best bet to stick with the Ravens and eventually develop into a contributor might come as a member of the practice squad.last_img read more