Stevensville man to challenge Daines in GOP Senate primary

Stevensville man to challenge Daines in GOP Senate primary

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U.S. Sen. Steve Daines has a Republican primary challenger.

Daniel Larson of Stevensville has notified the Montana Secretary of State that he intends to be on the primary ballot against the Republican incumbent. Larson has yet to formalize his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, but said Wednesday that he will soon.

The manager of two hardware stores in Stevensville and Florence, Larson tells Lee Montana newspapers that he’s running to prove a conservative populist candidate can win, even though he said President Donald Trump damaged the movement.

Larson, 40, born in Missoula, said he wouldn’t describe himself as a party Republican. He said he disagreed with Daines not voting to call witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial. Larson also disagreed with Daines' voting not to remove Trump.

Steve Daines

Daines

“I would say I’m a conservative who hasn’t found a home in the Republican Party,” Larsen said. "It seems like a lot of the conservative ideals, when you look at the whole set of platforms, there’s a lot of gymnastics that it takes to keep them all together."

Asked how his own donations to candidates align, Larson said he has supported Democrats, including two in the Democratic Senate primary, Cora Neumann and Wilmot Collins. Larson doesn’t show up in campaign finance reports as a donor to either candidate in 2019. He does show up as donating four times to former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, whose campaign ended after the New Hampshire primary. Larson indicated he was a Yang supporter.

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