Montana: Drug Bused

The prescription issue shakes up an incumbent

Conrad Burns, G.O.P. Senator from Montana, epitomizes rough-edged, Western independence. A tobacco-chewing conservative, he picks his teeth with a pocket knife and skewers liberal dogma with equal relish. He sees nothing wrong with snowmobiles in national forests, thinks drug companies aren't getting a fair shake and leads Congress in donations from Big Tobacco.

All that should make him unbeatable in a state with more than its share of crusty independents (and tobacco chewers). But Burns has just a narrow lead over Brian Schweitzer, a wealthy farmer riding a wave of resentment over the high cost of prescription drugs. Schweitzer, 45, first...

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