Kalispell man launches Senate bid

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David W. Leaser, the air traffic manager at Glacier Park International Airport, announced Tuesday that he is running for the U.S. Senate.

Leaser is running as a Republican for the seat held by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who is not running for re-election.  

“It is time for a representative in the United States Senate who has the courage to stand up for the conservative values of Montanans,” Leaser, a retired U.S. Navy chief petty officer, said in a news release.

“I believe in supporting the rights given to Americans by the United States Constitution, practicing open and honest government and proudly advocating for active-duty forces and veterans. I strongly support the principles of the Republican Party and Tea Party conservatives. I intend to support more freedom for individuals and families through less government, lower taxes and the reduction of cumbersome rules and regulations that prohibit business and the creation of jobs.”

In 2003, after 22 years in the Navy, Leaser moved to Kalispell to take a position as an air traffic control specialist. In 2008 he was promoted to air traffic manager.

Leaser received a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and a Master’s of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Leaser is married to the former Kelly Stricklan of Milpitas, Calif., and has two daughters and one grand-daughter.

“I know what it is like to be an employee and military member who have had to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet,” Leaser said.

“I have seen firsthand how government interference works against its citizens and will do my best to alleviate these difficulties. I will fight against any infringement on American citizens’ constitutional rights. The citizens of Montana deserve a voice in the U.S. Senate that honors our values and will fight for limited government, individual freedom and fiscal responsibility. I intend on being that voice of reason and conservatism.”

First-term U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is expected to run for the Senate, but has not yet revealed his plans yet.

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