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Election mail bag May 18

| May 18, 2020 1:00 AM

My number one priority as county commissioner is the interests and priorities of the people of the Flathead, and for that reason, I’m throwing my hat in the ring for Austin Knudsen for Montana attorney general. Austin’s conservative record in the Legislature speaks for itself, but I can also speak to it personally. Austin and I served as legislators together for eight years. Austin and I came from opposite ends of our state, but we had a lot of the same priorities — rein in Governor Bullock’s spending and big-government programs, protect Second Amendment rights, and defend private property, to name a few.

When Austin sets his mind to something, I know it’s going to get done. So when he says he’s going to tackle the violent crime problem caused by meth and other drug crimes, I believe him. I’ve followed Austin’s time as county attorney and how he’s aggressively ramped-up prosecution to get criminals behind bars in Roosevelt County. That’s not all an attorney general does, but it’s something that’s sorely needed. I hope you’ll join me in voting for Austin Knudsen for Montana Attorney General.

—Randy Brodehl, Kalispell

If the Attorney General doesn’t have your back, who does? That’s why I support Raph Graybill for Attorney General.

As Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, Raph Graybill has the courtroom experience to be our next Attorney General. He has taken the fight for our public lands and our public schools to court and he has won. Raph has also successfully taken on special interests using dark money in our elections.

Raph Graybill has a plan to fix our broken healthcare system and protect people with pre-existing conditions. Raph will go to court as our Attorney General to defend the Affordable Care Act and stop the Republican lawsuit that will take away our healthcare. Raph’s plan also includes getting money back in our pockets by hauling into court pharmaceutical corporations who illegally raise prices on prescription drugs. Raph will stand up to big insurance companies. He’ll fight confusing medical billing. These are all things the Attorney General can actually do something about, and Graybill has the proven record and vision to get it done. Governor Bullock clearly trusts Graybill as a top attorney because he hired him as his point man on critical issues. I trust Graybill, too, and want him fighting for me as Attorney General. Vote Graybill.

—Randolph Kosted, Rexford

If you haven’t taken a look at Matt Rosendale for U.S. Congress yet, please take a moment to let me share a few points about who he is, and his record of proven conservative leadership for Montanans.

Matt’s been successful in both business and as an elected official, and he proves time and again that he understands how business operates. He stands up against overly burdensome government regulations, because Matt understands that we must eliminate barriers to grow business.

The availability of more affordable healthcare options for Montana families is one of Matt’s commitments. He has protected those of us with pre-existing conditions and is bringing more transparency to drug pricing, resulting in lower drug costs.

As State Auditor, Matt has proven that bureaucratic costs can be reduced. He cut operating expenses by 23 percent and eliminated seven vacant bureaucratic positions. How many elected officials do you know who refused a pay increase? Matt did, every time.

On the Land Board, Matt worked to expand access to over 45,000 acres of hard-to-reach public land. That opened up more opportunities for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities for all Montanans.

Matt is the only candidate endorsed by President Trump, and he has an “A” rating from the NRA. Bottom line: Matt’s looking out for Montana’s taxpayers. Yes, Matt Rosendale gets my support for the U.S. Congress. I hope you’ll consider him too.

—Rep. Becky Beard, Elliston

In the current bid for Montana’s next governor, one candidate shines through the clouds, a beacon of hope, and a lighthouse for the many Montanans who feel lost at sea. This candidate is Dr. AL Olszewski. Before the run for governor, Dr. Al has been fully engaged in a life of excellence. He is a veteran, a surgeon, a legislator, and a father whose children are growing up in Montana. He knows what it’s like for everyday Montanans, and has maintained humility throughout his many leadership positions.

His integrity shines above the many political candidates because he knows who he serves. He has devoted his life to serving, and he sets an example of what servant hood in practice looks like.

When I look at the political landscape, I see many who seek vanity, fame, and above all, the unfortunate self-serving attitude. Some value those who agree with them, but have little room for those who disagree. A healthy servant values all, regardless of their differences of opinion or values. In fact, a healthy servant encourages people to embrace their own opinions and to grow their education and speak out for what they believe is right.

Thank you, Dr. Al, for making the choice for our next governor an easy one. This election is not a popularity contest, it’s a chance to build our state for future generations where our children can grow and thrive! Dr. Al is the only candidate with a vision to deliver, and is able to lead us through every trial and celebration with excellence. Thank you, Dr. Al, for valuing Montana as family!

—Matt Furlong, Helena

I encourage House District 9 voters to cast your vote for David Dunn this June. He distinguished himself last term as a solid pro-life and pro-gun rights conservative. Dunn’s prestigious position on the legislative committee put him in a key position to fight for our rights, and he was highly influential in stopping the red flag gun confiscation bill. David Dunn voted for every pro-life bill in 2019 to protect against abortion, infanticide, and elder abuse. In contrast, David Dunn’s opponent has publicly stated abortion should continue as currently practiced.

David is also a very pleasant man of high integrity. I encourage you to support life and liberty, support David Dunn for House District 9 this primary election.

—Mike Sutter, Kila

Bruce Tutvedt understands the Flathead Valley and it’s ever changing needs. He supports critical-need infrastructure investment for the growth of our valley. Which translates to workforce development, supporting local small businesses, construction and agriculture. He is fiscally conservative and promotes working across party lines.

As senator, Bruce served on the Taxation Committee for all four legislative sessions. He fought for individual income and business property tax relief.

As a former small-business owner I felt that Bruce had my back. He understands the value of small business for our economy and the future of our valley.

A vote for Bruce Tutvedt is a vote for our community.

—Debbie Snyder, Kalispell

True conservatives believe the proper role of government is to be fiscally responsible and provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations. Each person’s freedom, dignity, ability and morals must be honored.

Some Republican candidates get elected by saying they are conservative but end up voting most of the time with Democrats and end up with extremely low score on the Montana Family Foundation score card. We have some of those candidates running this time against our experienced legislators. They have never been to a Republican function.

It is critical that this election produces principled conservatives to streamline our government and repair our economy without wasting any money or raising taxes. Fortunately, Flathead County has many experienced conservative legislators running: In the Senate Carl Glimm SD 2 (four terms in House); Keith Regier SD 3 (four terms House and one term Senate).

In the House, Derek Skees HD 11 (four terms in House); Mark Noland HD 10 (three terms in House); David Dunn, HD 9 (one term in House); John Fuller HD 8 (one term in House); Jerry O’Neil, HD 7 (one term in House) ; Amy Regier HD 6 and Catherine Owens HD 5. Matt Regier and Braxton Mitchell have no primary opponents.

We are going to need legislators with skill and expertise in Helena. They will be required to repair the damage done by closing Montana’s economy. The liberal solution is to raise taxes and grow government which will not build a strong economy.

—Bob Faulkner, Kalispell