Rosendale sets sights on Washington, D.C.


A familiar face in eastern Montana politics is hoping to take his experience to Washington, D.C.

Republican Matt Rosendale of Glendive, who previously served in the Montana State House District 38 beginning in 2010 and is currently serving District 19 in the Montana State Senate, has begun his campaign for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat. Congressman Steve Daines is vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

Rosendale held a meet and greet event in Forsyth Friday and had planned to visit Miles City until inclement weather cut his trip short. Instead, he shared his views in a telephone interview.

“It became clear to me while in state government that the bulk of the big issues we’re dealing with in Helena originate in Washington, D.C.,” Rosendale said. “With the mandates different departments and agencies are forcing upon us, the bulk of our big problems don’t originate in Helena. 

“When these entities are passing rules and regulations that get implemented without any congressional oversight whatsoever, that’s when it became clear to me I could be more effective representing the people of Montana in Washington, keeping some of those problems right there within the beltway before they ever arrive in Helena.”

Rosendale, a rancher and real estate developer who moved with his wife and three sons to Montana in 2002, said his platform is basic: Eliminate wasteful spending and balance the budget. He said the debt deficit has escalated dramatically over the past few years, and needs to be reeled in.

“There are things we can do with discretionary spending as far as the different departments and agencies,” he explained. “We need to reduce the amount of spending they do. But that’s only a part of it. We need to free up our economy to help reduce the national debt. We’re going to have to take a good, hard look at what everyone recognizes as the entitlement programs. If we’re going to be honest about what’s taking place in our national debt, we have to do that.”

Rosendale also pointed to the recent passing of a farm bill as an example of a stop-gap solution to a much larger problem. He believes there are too many social programs attached to the farm bill that have nothing to do with agriculture, and that the federal government has inserted itself too far into the ag industry.

“We need to get the federal government out of the agriculture industry,” he said. “The feds have distorted the free-market system by inserting itself into our banks, housing, agriculture and manufacturing. If we truly want to get the market back to a place where it competes freely, we have to get the government out of it.”

Although proud of being an elected official representing eastern Montana, Rosendale stops short of calling himself a politician. He explained the values he shares with his fellow Montanans throughout the state are consistent, and he believes he can represent the state as a whole with poise and efficiency.

“A politician is a guy who goes out there and votes for his own interests,” he said. “An elected official votes for his constituents. What I bring to the table is the support endorsement of over 60 legislators from across the state. They’ve served with me, and they know that I will serve as I have campaigned. Many folks campaign one way then serve another. 

“This is one time where the citizens of Montana aren’t going to have to rely on that. I think I am the most consistent advocate for property rights, gun rights and resource development, and my voting record reflects that. I will spend all my time and energy working through the issues with the people that are impacted the most.”

With his campaign now in full swing and his staff in place, Rosendale said he’s been extremely well received throughout the state. 

“I’m very thrilled with where the campaign is at this point,” he said. “That first week in May, when those absentee ballots go out, I think we’re going to be on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. I’ve truly enjoyed my service in the state legislature, and I feel I can be the most effective voice for the citizens of Montana.”