The Democratic Party of Montana is calling on GOP Rep. Steve Daines, who is running in the state's high-profile Senate race this year, to release his birth certificate -- echoing the "birther" strategy employed against President Barack Obama.
Daines has alternately asserted that he is third-generation Montanan and fifth-generation Montanan, though he was born in California.
"No matter what generation Congressman Daines claims to be, he's a stranger to both the facts and Montana values -- and Montanans deserve the truth," Bryce Bennett, a Democratic Montana state Representative, said in a statement. "Montanans can't afford a Washington politician who thinks he can get away with fooling the people he's supposed to represent."
The statement continues, reading "Congressman Daines has to get his bio straight."
Daines' campaign dismissed the claims.
"Democrats have always worked to dictate Montanans' health care decisions, how they run their businesses, and what choices they make for their families, but it's really par for the course that they're now trying to dictate someone's personal history," Daines spokeswoman Alee Lockman told Politico. "They may be able to dictate they way Montanans live their lives, but unless Montana Democrats want to move Steve’s great-great-grandmother’s grave, they can't change Steve’s strong heritage as a fifth-generation Montanan."
Daines is running in the Republican primary to challenge interim Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), who was appointed this month to fill the seat opened when former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was confirmed as ambassador to China.