Published Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 | 11:11 a.m.
Updated Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.
Associated Press (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock says it was his decision alone to appoint his lieutenant governor to Montana's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
The Democratic governor appointed John Walsh to serve the remainder of Max Baucus' term after Baucus was confirmed last week as the U.S. ambassador to China.
The governor refuted claims by the state Republican Party the Walsh appointment was the result of a backroom deal designed to improve Democrats' chances of holding the Senate seat in this year's elections.
Bullock said Friday he received a call from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before Baucus' nomination became public. Bullock says Reid wanted to weigh in on the appointment, but the governor told Reid it was none of his business.
Reid's press office did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.