Montana Democrat accused of plagiarism drops out of U.S. Senate race

By Kyle Johnson,

Montana Sen. John Walsh announced on Thursday that he is dropping out of the election race following allegations from the New York Times he plagiarized a college research paper.

Walsh said that his campaign had become mired in the plagiarism scandal and now he will simply turn his focus back to finishing out his term, the Billings Gazette reports.

"I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator," Walsh said in a statement.

It isn't too surprisingly he pulled out of the race as he previously said he would talk with his family and canceled events scheduled for this week.

The New York Times accused Walsh of plagiarism in July on a 2007 paper he wrote while attending the United States Army War College for a masters degree.

Walsh allegedly liberally borrowed from several papers on the subject of the U.S.' Middle East policy, with whole sections apparently pulled - including citations to sources those papers used. One nearly 600-word section was copied almost verbatim from a Harvard paper.

While he initially denied claims when confronted by the Times, his campaign spokeswoman said later that any plagiarism was "unintentional" or a "mistake."

With the senator now out of the race, the Montana Democratic Party will have to select a new candidate to go up against Republican Rep. Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots on Aug. 20.

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