Steve Daines' vote to bring an end to the recent debt ceiling and federal government shutdown may have opened the door to a primary challenge from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Champ Edmunds.

Previously, Edmunds said that he would run for the U.S. House if Daines were to tackle the Senate, but that no longer appears to be the case.

The change in strategy was publicized by the following press release distributed by the Edmunds campaign on October 21:

“Montanans deserve a conservative candidate. I am a true and proven conservative with a legislative record that clearly reflects where I stand now and where I will stand in the future.


When I announced my candidacy to represent Montana in the United States Senate, I said that should Congressman Daines at some point seek this same seat, then I would step aside and become a candidate for Montana’s lone congressional seat.


As I listen to folks from around the state react to what has transpired in Washington D.C., I am forced to rethink my previous offer.


A very select 100 people serve in the U.S. Senate. They are expected to make some of the most delicate, yet weighty, decisions that affect each and every American, from the most vulnerable to the most powerful.


Montanans deserve a Senator who will vote to protect their freedom, and not expand government.”

Daines has still not declared whether or not he will even run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Max Baucus in 2014. If Daines runs for either the House or the Senate it is now increasingly likely that he will face a primary opponent.