Election Guide '22

The candidates and issues on Montana's 2022 ballot

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Kyle Austin
Lost Republican primary for U.S. House District 2 (East) in June 2022

Kyle Austin

Billings pharmacist
Active candidates in race

Austin, 39, describes himself as a pharmacist, farmer and pilot. He was raised near Havre and holds a pharmacy degree from the University of Montana. He lives in Billings, where he operates a retail pharmacy and a mobile vaccine clinic.

He says he is running because he believes current elected leaders have failed the state, citing challenges around health care, agriculture and population growth.

This biography is based on information provided by Austin and materials available on his campaign website, verified against news reports about his work as a traveling pharmacist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MTFP coverage

Reporting on this candidate published by the Montana Free Press newsroom.
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Campaign finance

Based on reporting required by the U.S. Federal Election Commission. See individual candidate pages on the FEC website or the FEC's race summary page for more information. The FEC summary page may include candidates who haven't filed for the ballot in this race with the Montana secretary of state.
Candidate
Raised
Spent
Remaining
Matt Rosendale (R)
$1.6M
$727k
$1.1M
Gary Buchanan (I)
$86k
$35k
$51k
Penny Ronning (D)
$47k
$43k
$5k
Sam Rankin (L)
No FEC filings on record
$0
$0
$0
Mark Sweeney (D)
$96k
$27k
$69k
Skylar Williams (D)
$4k
$4k
$48
James Boyette (R)
thru 5/25/22
$2k
$6k
−$3k
Kyle Austin (R)
No FEC filings on record
$0
$0
$0
Roger Roots (L)
No FEC filings on record
$0
$0
$0
Samuel Thomas (L)
No FEC filings on record
$0
$0
$0
Charles Walking Child (R)
No FEC filings on record
$0
$0
$0

On the issues

The material shown below was solicted from candidates via a written questionnaire in May 2022. Responses were limited to 1,000 characters and edited lightly for punctuation and spelling. Responses have not been exhaustively fact-checked. Send questions to Eric Dietrich at edietrich@montanafreepress.org.
Q1: Polls indicate many Americans are concerned about the integrity of the nation’s democratic institutions. Both as a political candidate and as a potential member of Congress, what can you do to promote Montanans’ faith in American democracy?
Kyle Austin:

We need to limit total contributions. Our elected individuals should be elected on qualifications, not how much outside money they can raise.

Q2: Do you believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president in 2020?
Kyle Austin:

I feel many factors played into Biden prevailing. Do we need a more secure, reliable, accessible voting system in America? Yes we do.

Q3: The cost of health care is a concern for many Montana families. What federal action would you support to improve the U.S. health care system?
Kyle Austin:

Insurance companies are the problem. At the federal level, we need to consolidate our resources into one program. We need to create a taxpayer-owned single-source payer that has transparency across all health plans and providers. The plan is called "one plan" and the corporation will be the United States Health Plan Corporation.

Q4: Housing costs are an increasing concern for many Montanans. What federal action would you support to promote housing affordability in Montana?
Kyle Austin:

Housing costs are going up for many reasons: inflation, population, greed, government red tape, realtors... however, eliminating red tape that causes increased fees for developing or building a house will be my first priority.

Q5: To what extent do you see climate change as an urgent issue? What if any federal action would you support to mitigate its effects?
Kyle Austin:

Climate change is an issue, as we see a huge population influx on this Earth, everyone needs to do their part to find a good balance. As a farmer, we are seeing drier and drier conditions for raising crops or feeding livestock. At some point, Americans may see a struggle finding food to put on their table. Do we raise the issue of world population control to reduce consumption, pollution and waste? I believe our first federal action should be to back our farmers and ranchers to ensure they have the tools to fight climate change and be successful for the future to ensure we have a sustainable food supply chain.

Q6: Do you see reining in the federal debt as a priority? If so, how should that be accomplished? If you support new taxes or spending cuts, please identify specifics about who would pay more or what budget areas you’d cut. (We assume that working to minimize waste, fraud and abuse is a given.)
Kyle Austin:

I believe we cut everyone's taxes across the board by 25%, cap those taxes for 10 years, and force our government to operate on that budget while paying off our national debt. We can do many things if we run our government like a business. We need to consolidate a bunch of government waste and use taxpayers’ dollars wisely.

Q7: What do you see as the most important priorities for the management of federal lands in Montana? Should the federal government consider transferring some federally held land into state ownership?
Kyle Austin:

Currently, I feel we leave these lands the way they are.

Q8: What do you see as the single most significant issue facing Montana’s public education system, and what if any federal action would you support to address it?
Kyle Austin:

The problem I see is that our current university system does a great job extending graduation dates and sending students out of state instead of keeping graduates in Montana. This is causing a huge shortage in our workforce, especially in health care. This needs to stop. On a federal level, we will intervene in limiting the years to a program and make education more affordable.

Q9: In the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, would you support federal legislation that either guarantees abortion access or that, alternatively, establishes legal protections for life beginning at conception? What specific provisions would you like to see included in future federal abortion law?
Kyle Austin:

Should abortion be regulated? Yes. Should there be consequences for having an abortion? Yes. However should there be a safe place in health care to have an abortion, and should the final decision be made between a physician and the mother? Yes

Q10: What changes, if any, would you like to see to current federal regulations regarding firearm ownership?
Kyle Austin:

I would like to see more manufacturing of firearms and ammunition, so we never see shortages at our sporting goods outlets ever again!

Q11: Montanans voted to legalize adult marijuana use in 2020. Do you support removing cannabis from the federal government’s Schedule 1 controlled substance list?
Kyle Austin:

Yes. I agree that it is time to remove cannabis from DEA control. This will not only allow users to use it within their own home, but allow our farmers to have more freedom with industrial hemp and industry.

Election results

June 7 Republican primary vote
12%
11,884
Unofficial count as of 2:33 PM, 6/13/22

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