State Candidates Share Views During Republican Dinner

A packed house at the Richland County Lincoln-Reagan dinner organized by the Richland County Republican Central Committee heard directly from five of the eight candidates for the U.S. House 2 position on Thursday night.

Elsie Arntzen, who is the current Superintendent of Public Instruction, told audience members that she is a fourth generation Montanan and a practicing Christian. The House candidate said that most importantly she is a conservative and has fought for values in her position as superintendent.

Arntzen asked, "Do you all agree that government doesn't control our children?" She said the nation's largest problem is protecting the Southern Border.

Candidate Kyle Austin's background includes owning a farm and being a pharmacist. He started Pharm406 during the pandemic. He noted that Montana needs a representative who has an agriculture, health and business background.

Austin expressed concern about reports that Canada will limit fertilizer imports into the United States. He suggested that Sidney should open a fertilizer plant. "United we stand, united we can," Austin said.

Ric Holden has farmed and ranched in Dawson County for 33 years. He was a state senator for eight years. Holden said Montana's base is agriculture, and the U.S. representative should have an agriculture background.

Holden feels the Southern Border must be shut down. He said he would be a representative who understands the positives of oil and coal production.

Joel Krautter, a lawyer in Sidney, says the country is experiencing a sense of discouragement. He mentioned the unsecured border and record inflation.

Krautter said it's up to citizens to get the ship back safely to harbor by sending the right people to Washington, D.C. "We need a new generation of leadership to bring the nation back to stability," he said.

Stacy Zinn's experience includes a 23-year tenure with the DEA. She spent her career tackling cartels and terrorists as a private security expert. She described herself as a conservative and a fighter.

Zinn mentioned key issues being the Southern Border, foreign policy, the national debt and energy sources. She said that conservatives are losing their country and need someone to make tough decisions.

Candidate Troy Downing didn't attend the event, but he was represented by a campaign staff member. Downing was described as a battle-tested conservative who has built successful businesses.

Other state ballot candidates at the dinner included governor candidate Tanner Smith, superintendent of public instruction candidates Sharyl Allen and Susie Hedalen, and clerk of supreme court candidate Bowen Greenwood.


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