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By Tim Leeds 

Three GOP gubernatorial candidates stump in Havre

 


Three GOP gubernatorial candidates stump in Havre

Tim Leeds

Four Republican candidates for governor in the 2012 election took the opportunity during the Hill and Blaine county GOP Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in Havre Sunday to tell Hi-Line voters why they would be the best leader for the state. Former U. S. Rep. Rick Hill, former state Sens. Ken Miller and Corey Stapleton and Chouteau County Commissioner Jim O'Hara all made their case why they should be the next governor,

Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer cannot run for re-election in 2012 due to term limits.

Miller, from Laurel, said he did not have much time to spend talking about specific issues, but invited people to call or e-mail him with questions.

He said he had not intended to get back into politics, but once people urged him to run and he had analyzed what is going on in the country and the state, he could not refuse.

He said Montana needs a governor with backbone, who will stand up to the federal government and stand up for what the state needs.

"I think we're at a crossroads for our nation, a crossroads for our state, " he said.

Hill, who retired from the House and whose seat was taken by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., said one thing he learned from his childhood — including overcoming polio — was that people can treat themselves like victims or like people with challenges and opportunities.

He said that in a time of increased spending, decreased revenue and the highest unemployment in the history of the state, Schweitzer is saying the last six years is the best of times.

"And so I concluded, " Hill said, "maybe he went down and got one of those cards and had been smoking something … these are pretty tough times in Montana. "

He said some of his priorities include changing the budget process in Montana from basing it on previous budgets to a priority system; making a school system that works, including starting charter schools and using tax credits for children going to private schools and paying teachers based on performance rather than seniority. He would also push back against the federal government on issues such as removing wolves from the endangered species list.

O'Hara said he grew up in a simpler Montana. It had smaller government and less bureaucracy. Part of that was fewer restrictions, and fewer roadblocks to business owners and entrepreneurs, he said.

"We can't go back to the simpler time, but I believe we can have a simpler government, and I believe we need simpler government. It's gotten too big, too complex, " O'Hara said. "It's time to simplify it, streamline it, make it more efficient. "

Stapleton said he proved himself as a freshman legislator when he pushed to correct the problem the state Department of Revenue had with its new POINTS computer program. The party then selected him to be a Republican leader of the Senate.

He promised to push for Montana to start its own medical school. He will also push for coal development like the still-stalled development of the Otter Creek tracts, for which he was a lead sponsor in 2001.

"I have courage, proven courage, wisdom and understanding, leadership and vision to serve us well, " he said.

Four Republican candidates for governor in the 2012 election took the opportunity during the Hill and Blaine county GOP Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in Havre Sunday to tell Hi-Line voters why they would be the best leader for the state. Former U. S. Rep. Rick Hill, former state Sens. Ken Miller and Corey Stapleton and Chouteau County Commissioner Jim O'Hara all made their case why they should be the next governor,

Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer cannot run for re-election in 2012 due to term limits.

Miller, from Laurel, said he did not have much time to spend talking about specific issues, but invited people to call or e-mail him with questions.

He said he had not intended to get back into politics, but once people urged him to run and he had analyzed what is going on in the country and the state, he could not refuse.

He said Montana needs a governor with backbone, who will stand up to the federal government and stand up for what the state needs.

"I think we're at a crossroads for our nation, a crossroads for our state, " he said.

Hill, who retired from the House and whose seat was taken by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., said one thing he learned from his childhood — including overcoming polio — was that people can treat themselves like victims or like people with challenges and opportunities.

He said that in a time of increased spending, decreased revenue and the highest unemployment in the history of the state, Schweitzer is saying the last six years is the best of times.

"And so I concluded, " Hill said, "maybe he went down and got one of those cards and had been smoking something … these are pretty tough times in Montana. "

He said some of his priorities include changing the budget process in Montana from basing it on previous budgets to a priority system; making a school system that works, including starting charter schools and using tax credits for children going to private schools and paying teachers based on performance rather than seniority. He would also push back against the federal government on issues such as removing wolves from the endangered species list.

O'Hara said he grew up in a simpler Montana. It had smaller government and less bureaucracy. Part of that was fewer restrictions, and fewer roadblocks to business owners and entrepreneurs, he said.

"We can't go back to the simpler time, but I believe we can have a simpler government, and I believe we need simpler government. It's gotten too big, too complex, " O'Hara said. "It's time to simplify it, streamline it, make it more efficient. "

Stapleton said he proved himself as a freshman legislator when he pushed to correct the problem the state Department of Revenue had with its new POINTS computer program. The party then selected him to be a Republican leader of the Senate.

He promised to push for Montana to start its own medical school. He will also push for coal development like the still-stalled development of the Otter Creek tracts, for which he was a lead sponsor in 2001.

"I have courage, proven courage, wisdom and understanding, leadership and vision to serve us well, " he said.

 

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