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Monday, March 19, 2018

Rosendale insists he far surpasses his opponents

By Jamie Ausk Crisafulli

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

He may be part of a large pool of Montana Republican candidates for U.S. Senate who will face off in the primary race, but State Auditor Matt Rosendale’s sights are firmly set on unseating Sen. Jon Tester.

With a multitude of endorsements and the connections and knowledge he has garnered serving in several capacities in the state of Montana, Rosendale says he is the one Republican candidate who will be able to defeat  Tester.

“Any criteria that you would use to measure this primary, I far surpass anyone,” Rosendale said.

Rosendale said it has been “clearly demonstrated” that Sen. Jon Tester’s voting record does not represent the majority of people in Montana.

He said Tester’s votes on Iran, Supreme Court Justice candidate Neil Gorsuch and the tax reform legislation are proof he is out of touch.

“These are all votes that are completely contrary to what the regular people on the street here in Montana would go for,” Rosendale said.

Rosendale was in Dawson County over the weekend, participating in the Lincoln Reagan dinners in Dawson, Custer and Richland counties during his time here.

Rosendale purchased his  Dawson County ranch in 2001 and came out to live full time soon after.

He served in the Montana House of Representatives beginning in 2010. Two years later he earned a state Senate seat and was elected as Senate Majority Leader in 2014.

In 2016, he won the state auditor’s race and continues to serve in that capacity.

“I’m a businessman, I’m a rancher, I’m a legislator and now I’m a state executive. We need that kind of representation in Washington,” he said in an interview Monday.

Numerous endorsements

Rosendale has some impressive national endorsements including Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. 

Rosendale has gathered a broad coalition of support across the state of Montana. He has the support of over 30 elected Montana officials.

“I have independents, I have the Libertarian-minded individuals and I have the conservative folks, because they have seen that there’s always a chair at the table to have the discussion with me, to resolve the issue,” Rosendale said.

“Folks know that I serve the way that I campaign, that’s what it comes down to,” Rosendale said.

Focused on Policy

Rosendale said his role as state auditor has allowed him to meet with members of Congress to discuss issues related to national health care, an issue he feels must continue to be addressed and improved.

Rosendale has made strides in creating a friendlier health care system in the state of Montana during his two years in the state auditor’s office, including making Medi-Share an option for state residents. Montana was the only state in the union that did not allow the health care sharing program prior to Rosendale taking office.

While that is just one option now available to Montanans, Rosendale recognizes that health care is not a one-size-fits-all system. 

“We have to make sure that there is a full array of products and services for people to address their health care in a way that recognizes their budget, their specific health needs and their personal choices,” he said.

The Endangered Species Act and  Equal Access to Justice laws are two other policy issues that Rosendale hit on.

“Both of those have got to have reform. They have been expanded to go far beyond what the initial intent was in 1973,” Rosendale said. “It’s dramatically hurting businesses and industries across our nation.”

He said tax reform efforts must also continue with the focus on simplifying the system overall. Rosendale would like to see a flat tax, where taxpayers could easily identify what their tax obligation is.

“Along with that you eliminate the deductions and loopholes and things, and that eliminates special interests,” he said.

While balancing the campaign trail and his position as state auditor is keeping him busy, Rosendale said the most difficult part of his schedule is being away from his Dawson County ranch.

“I love it out here, I really do,” he said.

For more information on Rosendale’s campaign check out his website at https://www.mattformontana.com.

Reach Jamie Ausk Crisafulli at rreditor@rangerreview.com

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