Harlem resident Douglas Stuart, a Republican, will run for the State Senate from District 17.
His announcement on Monday, the last day for filing for the legislative seats, ensures there will be a primary for the seat being vacated by Craig Tilleman.
The district encompasses northern Blaine and Hill counties, including Havre, Chinook and Harlem.
Harlem businessman Don Richman is also seeking the GOP nod. The winner of the June 5 primary will oppose Democrat Greg Jergeson.
Stuart, 59, calls himself "a conservative Republican, a Reagan Republican, but I'm not in sync with the state Republicans."
A Havre native, he moved as a youngster with his family to Fort Belknap to get in the ranching business. He graduated from Harlem High School.
In the 1980s, his family retired from farming, and he went to the University of New Hampshire, where he obtained three masters degrees and did doctoral work. He was headed for Wall Street, nut he returned to Harlem to take care of his aging mother.
"Thanks to the marvels of technology, I can continue in my business career and live in Harlem," he said.
Stuart said his varied background would make him a good legislator.
He is part Native American and is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine tribe at Fort Belknap, but has extensive farming and business experience.
He said he is organizing a young Republicans organization that will be based out of Kalispell. He is hoping to get well-known Republicans such as Michelle Bachman to speak to the group.
Yet, he said he believes the Montana Republican Party is becoming "too elitist."
"I was at the state Republican convention, and there were maybe five young people there," he said.
"The Republican Party has forgotten about the common person," he said.
"If you are a single mother with two kids and no job, what does the Republican Party have to offer you?" he asked. "Tax cuts won't help you."
He said the party has to support a safety net that is aimed at providing poor people the help to lift themselves up.
"As a Republican, I was embarrassed by the Republican Party at the last legislative session," he said.
Pressed for examples, he said, "Wendy Warburton wanted to have militias running all over the place. What was that all about?"
Warburton, a Republican representative from Havre, introduced a bill to create a force that would help sheriffs and other emergency personnel during emergencies. It never passed out of committee.