Former Congressman Pat Williams said Tuesday if former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer decides to run for Baucus' U.S. Senate seat, he would likely be Montana's next senator.
On the Republican ticket, Williams said if former Congressman Dennis Rehberg decided to run he could be a strong contender.
Williams said he thinks the Billings republican could oil up the campaign machinery and run a good race.
Williams calls Baucus an extraordinary campaigner but thinks he would have had his hands full going for another term.
"First, I was quite surprised," said Williams,
"second, I think after all these years in Washington, Max deserves some time to himself, and third, I was delighted he came home, and fourth, he was a facing a very difficult re-election campaign and I think he knows it."
Williams credits Baucus with "occasional attempts to preserve the landscape," efforts to keep taxers on the middle class affordable, education, and being a champion of young people.