Editor’s note: This is another in our series of profiles for local legislative candidates. Each state House and Senate candidate in the Great Falls area was given the opportunity to submit, in their own words, a brief profile outlining why they’re running, what party they represent and why they are the best candidate for the position. You can see the full list of local candidates here.
Democrats Staci Bechard and Jasmine Krotov are the other candidates in House District 25 and did not respond to our request for a profile.
I’m running for office because I bring a unique voice and balance to state government. The themes that I’ve supported include advocating and voting for increased mental health services, giving people their money back by reducing taxes, and attempting to bat back what I call “nanny state” laws. This next session, if I’m elected, I’d like to work on exempting social security income from state taxation. Montana is one of 13 states that tax social security, raising $75,000,000 by doing so.
I’d also like to continue supporting mental health service initiatives, such as the list of priorities put forth by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). In addition, I’ll continue pushing for changes in child protective services. Lastly, there was a proposal last session to regulate unscrupulous animal breeders but it failed. I’d like to bring that back up so that we may proactively deal with animal neglect issues instead of re-actively dealing with the fallout of a bad situation.
I’m running as a Republican in short because I tend to agree with their platform and principles. Without reciting the entire party platform, I think it can be summed up as being strongly for freedom and liberty, balanced by personal responsibility. Republicans strongly believe in the rule of law and government that exists only by the consent of the governed. Individual integrity is paramount.
I believe I’m the best candidate in this race because I’ll always vote to keep taxes and debt low at the state government level. In the last legislative session, money was tight and hard decisions had to be made. Republicans balanced the budget without raising taxes. Raising taxes is the “easy answer” when government is seeking to plug a budget hole, but those taxes come from taxpayers that are already struggling. It is good policy to keep the tax base growing, meaning creating the policy environment that helps individuals and businesses prosper, rather than constantly increasing taxes on a smaller and smaller group of those willing to stick around to pay them.
During the time the budget was being voted on in the House of Representatives last session, there was over $200,000,000 in amendments brought to the floor by the Democrats. That’s $200,000,000 we definitely didn’t have available to spend, and which the Republicans said no to. We have to live within our means as government, just like everyone else. I stood with my party and responsibly crafted a fair budget for taxpayers, and for those that rely on services that the government provides.