HELENA — Republican state legislator Matt Rosendale said Tuesday that his campaign for the U.S. House will champion conservative ideals in the “war going on for the heart and soul of our country.”
Rosendale confirmed that he will be running for the U.S. House after first considering a U.S. Senate run. Republicans expect current U.S. Rep. Steve Daines to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Max Baucus in 2014.
The race for the Republican nomination in the House could be crowded. Former state Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings is running and others are considering a bid.
Rosendale, 53, said he will run against “drones, death panels and national debt.”
The Glendive rancher, a small businessman who moved to Montana from Maryland a decade ago, said he thinks House Republicans must keep forcing the issue in the argument over the debt ceiling in order to get rid of the federal health care law and reduce spending.
“Congress needs a spine. They need to stand up and address these issues,” Rosendale said in an interview. “I think that I agree with the bulk of the House Republicans. They are trying to defund Obamacare to continue to fund the balance of government, and I don’t think that is unreasonable.”
Recent negotiations between some House Republicans and the White House had shifted away from initial demands to abolish the health care law in an effort to avoid default in the ongoing federal government shutdown.
“This is a problem that has been accumulating for many, many years and we have continued to kick the can down the road. And now we are trying to kick a 55 gallon drum down the road,” Rosendale said of the standoff. “If this is the only way to get people to make a tough decision, then that is what we have to do.”
Rosendale previously announced putting $250,000 of his own money into the campaign in an initial fundraising effort of about $320,000. He announced the backing Tuesday of a number of Republicans currently in the Legislature.
Rosendale promised to put his conservative values above his political party or special interests such as big business.
The Republican touted, as representative of his positions, bills that he backed last session that placed restrictions on the use of unmanned flying drones to collect information on state residents, and a measure he says will make it easier for landowners to develop multiple units on their property.
On the Democratic side, John Lewis of Helena has announced a run for the U.S. House. The former Baucus staffer said he will run a campaign promising pragmatic solutions to get core spending infrastructure and farm bills moving forward.
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