Election Guide '22

The candidates and issues on Montana's 2022 ballot

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Matt Rosendale
2022 Republican candidate for U.S. House District 2 (East)

Matt Rosendale

Incumbent U.S. Representative
Active candidates in race

Matt Rosendale, 61, has served one term as Montana’s at-large U.S. representative for the entire state before its division into two congressional districts following the release of 2020 census data last year.

Rosendale previously served a four-year term as Montana’s state auditor and insurance commissioner from 2017 to 2021 and served in the Montana state Legislature from 2011 to 2016. He was also the GOP nominee to challenge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in the latter’s 2018 re-election campaign.

While in Congress, Rosendale has served on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He lives with his wife, Jean, on a ranch near Glendive.

This biography is based on materials provided by Rosendale’s campaign and verified against public records from the Montana Legislature and U.S. Congress.

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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?
Matt Rosendale:

The two most important things I can do are to work to hold our government agencies accountable and to keep my promises to the voters who elected me. Since being sworn in I have fought tooth and nail to make sure Montana’s voice is heard and to keep my promises I made during the election. I promised to not vote based on the political winds of D.C. and stand up against bad legislation — and I’ve done just that. I’ve introduced legislation to prioritize securing our southern border, improve access to health care for veterans, and voted against Biden’s massive, irresponsible spending bills. And I will continue fighting against this administration and its irresponsible policies, if re-elected.

Q2: Do you believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president in 2020?
Matt Rosendale:

There were some irregularities in many states’ election returns after the 2020 election that have endangered people’s faith in our electoral system. I supported an effort to do a 10-day audit of the election returns, conducted by an Electoral Commission — which I think is a reasonable step to help restore folks’ faith in the election process.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

We must focus our efforts on improving both the access to and the affordability of health care, and I believe the best way to do that is through enacting market-based reforms to allow true competition and choice in the insurance industry. Among the first bills that I introduced was the Direct Primary Care Accessibility Act, which would protect the ability of Americans to purchase health care from their doctors without going through an insurance company first and is viewed as an effective way to increase access to preventative care and primary care physicians at a much lower cost. I’ve also worked to expand access to telehealth and mental health services for those on Medicare by introducing the Rural Telehealth Expansion Act that would expand Medicare to cover store-and-forward telehealth services to all 50 states and introduced legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by shedding light on the practices of pharmacy benefit managers.

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

As we have seen prices for homes increase, we’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the cost of materials. The government-mandated COVID shutdowns have wreaked havoc on our supply chains and the irresponsible spending of the Biden administration has pushed inflation so high we are not only seeing concerns with housing affordability, but basic necessities like milk and eggs. We absolutely need to put an end to the out-of-control spending that is increasing inflation and contributing to the inability of average Americans to afford homes.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

While it is critical that we work to promote a clean and healthy environment, developing our abundant natural resources like coal, oil, and natural gas and protecting our air and water resources are not mutually exclusive. We already have rigorous processes in place to ensure the protection of our environment and right now, with millions of Americans struggling to put food on their tables and fuel in their cars, I think our priority needs to be cutting government spending and reining in our out-of-control inflation.

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.)
Matt Rosendale:

Absolutely. With our deficit reaching unsustainable levels and the national debt over $30 trillion, something has to be done to ensure financial security for our children and grandchildren. We are in this situation because we spend too much, not because we tax our people too little. Since my first day in Congress I have voted against irresponsible spending and sought to reduce our national debt — and while it hasn’t always been popular, it is a promise I made to Montanans throughout my campaign and a promise that I will continue to keep. If re-elected, I will continue to oppose tax increases on Montana families and businesses, and I will support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

I oppose a federal lands transfer, and will work tirelessly to protect public access to our public lands. As a member of the State Land Board, I expanded access to over 45,000 acres of state public lands, while protecting environmentally sensitive areas and putting our natural resources to work for our state. As congressman, I have prioritized improving federal land management and encouraging natural resource development in a way that respects the environment and fosters job creation. I have also introduced legislation to prevent frivolous litigation aimed at stalling responsible timber harvest and forest management practices that are needed to improve habitat and mitigate wildfire risk.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

One issue facing our schools is hiring and retaining teachers. Historically, Montana’s starting pay for teachers was among the lowest in the nation. Governor Gianforte and the Montana State Legislature have acted to incentivize local governments to increase teacher pay by passing the TEACH Act, and I applaud the great work they have done on this important issue. Overall, I believe that parents and local Montanans know better than the federal government when it comes to the education of our children.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

I support pro-life legislation that protects life beginning at conception.

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

I support the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms and will vote against any legislation seeking to infringe on that right.

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?
Matt Rosendale:

Given the rising THC levels of marijuana, I have concerns about the likelihood of abuse and — without seeing more evidence to justify it — would not support removing its Schedule 1 designation.

Election results

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

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