Candidate files as write-in
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Roy Hollandsworth has registered as a write-in candidate in state Senate District 45, which contains parts of Chouteau, Liberty and Hill counties.
Hollandsworth, a Republican, said today that it took a long time for him to decide to run for the seat, held by Democrat Jon Tester of Big Sandy. Tester is running for re-election.
"I'm one of them let the other guy do it' people," Hollandsworth said. "Eventually, you've got to decide, If I'm not going to do it, who is?'"
He described himself as a conservative Christian who is pro-life, believes the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms and is a supporter of private property rights.
His stance on private property led him to file for the Senate election, he said, especially after hearing former Republican congresswoman Helen Chenowith-Hage of Idaho and her husband, Wayne Hage, speak at a workshop in Fort Benton recently.
The Hages said landowners who have grazing leases in the Upper Missouri Breaks Monument have rights, and if they lose money because of the monument designation they can sue the government, Hollandsworth said.
"I believe strongly in property rights and I am going to fight to change the Missouri River monument conflict," he said.
"I'm a farmer and rancher myself. If we don't stop (special interest groups) at the Missouri Breaks, where will they stop from taking land?" he asked.
The presidential proclamation creating the monument identifies grazing as a use that will continue in the monument.
Another issue among his priorities is improving trade practices to help small farmers and ranchers.
"Our free trade practices, it's just killing farmers and ranchers and small towns," he said.
He said he supports the country-of-origin labeling included in the farm bill recently passed by Congress, and said more legislation like it is needed to help U.S. and Montana agriculture.
Additional funding for some programs like public schools is definitely needed, he said, but that has to be balanced against available revenue.
"One hundred percent I want to have a balanced budget," he said. "I have to live on a balanced budget; why shouldn't the state?"
Some things could be done to improve the funding of small schools, Hollandsworth said. There are fixed costs that every school has to pay, whether it has two students or 20 students, so the formula the state uses based on enrollment doesn't always provide enough money, he said.
He also strongly supports developing alternate energy sources like wind energy.
He and his wife, Karen, live on a farm on the western edge of Chouteau and Liberty counties. Karen Hollandsworth works full time in Great Falls. They have three grown children.
Hollandsworth needs to get 190 write-in votes in the primary election to be on the ballot in the general election in the fall.