HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Former Republican Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger says he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014 as a Democrat.

Bohlinger made the announcement Tuesday at a Democratic party dinner. He confirmed his decision to The Associated Press Wednesday at his Helena home.

Bohlinger says he had been considering a run for months since former Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he wouldn't campaign for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.

Bohlinger says the tipping point for his decision was last month's federal government shutdown. He called it an attack on the nation by tea party Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.

Daines announces Wednesday whether he plans to run the Senate seat.

Bohlinger will face current Lt. Gov. John Walsh and Dirk Adams of Wilsall for the Democratic nomination.