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Montana senator cancels events, campaign mum

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh of Montana on Tuesday postponed at least two upcoming events in Bozeman, as his campaign declined to answer questions about whether he planned to remain in the U.S. Senate race amid allegations that he plagiarized a research paper. The Walsh campaign notified Gallatin County Democratic party members that he would not attend a backyard meet-and-greet hosted by Women for Walsh that was scheduled for Wednesday or a Friday talk on public lands at the county party's new headquarters. The campaign did not give a reason why, said Billy McWilliams, a member of the Gallatin County Democrats' executive committee. "Nobody's talking," McWilliams told The Associated Press. "It happened pretty quick this morning." The Bozeman Daily Chronicle first reported the postponements. Walsh has come under increasing pressure after The New York Times reported that he plagiarized portions of the 2007 research project he wrote while attending U.S. Army War College. The editorial boards of Montana's three largest daily newspapers have called for him to withdraw his candidacy, while others have demanded an apology or to forfeit his master's degree. Walsh's campaign did not return calls for comment or an interview request. Spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said in an email that the campaign planned no statements on Tuesday. The Montana Democratic Party continued to pledge its support of Walsh on Tuesday. "Senator Walsh is our U.S. Senator and candidate," party spokesman Bryan Watt said. Walsh is running against Republican Rep. Steve Daines to keep the Senate seat he was appointed to by Gov. Steve Bullock in February when Max Baucus resigned to become ambassador to China. Walsh previously said he made unintentional mistakes in not citing others' work in his paper on the spread of democracy in the Middle East. He also said he was being treated for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder at the time, but added he was not blaming PTSD for his mistake. Daines declined to comment on the plagiarism allegations during a campaign stop Tuesday in Billings. ___ AP writer Matthew Brown contributed to this report from Billings, Montana.

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