Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Last Best Place is on this November's ballot

by Don "K" Kaltschmidt
| October 23, 2020 7:00 AM

With the most crucial Election Day in recent memory days away, I encourage my fellow Montanans to cast their votes with the following questions in mind.

Which candidate will help revitalize our economy? Who will defend our Montana heritage and our Second Amendment rights? Who will support policies that will put the safety of our communities first? And lastly: Who will put Montana and America first? With these questions in mind, our choices in this election become clear. Since being elected to Congress, Sen. Steve Daines has routinely delivered for Montana by applying a simple, but rare principle in Washington, D.C.,: common sense. As the first senator in 75 years to sit on two top committees simultaneously — finance and appropriations — Daines has guaranteed that the voice of Montana is heard in D.C. when it comes to raising or spending a single U.S. dollar. This November, we can’t pass up the opportunity to re-elect Daines.

As we saw with Sen. Max Baucus, our influence in Congress grows as our representatives gain seniority within their committees. A second term in the Senate for Daines means a louder voice for Montana in the Senate, and therefore, even more results for our state. This choice is an easy one.

Speaking of results – it’s time we get our state government working for Montana again. That starts with hiring the right person for the job. Our recent leaders in Helena are comfortable with the status quo of low wages, exorbitant property taxes, crippling red tape for our businesses and rising crime. We deserve better.

Greg Gianforte knows that Montana isn’t living up to its full potential, and unlike a career politician, Greg has the real-world experience needed to get Helena working for the people of Montana again. We’ve had a Democrat in the governor’s mansion for

16 years, Montana. It’s time for a fiscal conservative leader.

Montana’s lone voice in the House of Representatives is also a consequential position. The role must be filled by an individual who will represent all of Montana — and the right person for that job is Matt Rosendale. As state auditor, Matt Rosendale, cut operating costs by 23 percent, lessened the cost of prescription drugs and successfully lowered health care premiums while expanding access to public lands. As our lone representative, Matt will use his strong business background to reignite the economy, defend our Second Amendment heritage and be an independent voice that serves the best interest of all Montanans.

It doesn’t stop there — our races down ballot are vital to protecting Montana as the Last Best Place. We need a proven prosecutor leading the Department of Justice to seriously address the drug epidemic we face. Austin Knudsen is the only qualified candidate for that job. In our schools, our students need a superintendent that puts them first. That’s Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, who has earned a second term. Christi Jacobsen, our current deputy secretary of state is poised to step into the role of secretary of state in January of next year. She has already downsized the department big-time, and she will continue to eliminate inefficiencies as secretary of state.

Lastly, Troy Downing will bring important business experience to the role of state auditor. As a veteran, Troy is battle-tested — literally — and is ready to defend Montana values and the pocketbooks of Montanans as state auditor.

The choice is clear. Vote and have your voice heard. And together, let’s keep Montana the Last Best Place.

The author is chairman of the Montana Republican Party.