INDEPENDENT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TALKS WITH KMON
Gary Buchanan is an independent From Billings who is running for the Montana District Two US house seat which is currently held by Republican Matt Rosendale.
Pat: We're joined now by Gary Buchanan, who is running as Independent in the District two US house race here in the state of Montana. That's basically the eastern part, central and eastern parts of the states of Montana, and that is currently held by Matt Rosendale, who is an incumbent. Gary, welcome to the show, how are you?
Buchanan: Yeah, thanks for having me. I really appreciate your time.
Pat: Why are you running?
Buchanan: Well, I've been in business 44 years in Montana and downtown buildings, and I think most Republicans in this state don't buy incumbent Rosendale's failure to support Ukraine, failure to support NATO, even failure to support Sweden and Finland coming into NATO. And I think his votes against sportsman when he’s sponsoring a bill to do away with Pitman Robertson bill, which is millions of dollars every year to the state fish wild and parks, et cetera, even the NRA supports that bill. So we need to change.
Pat: Gary, I'm not sure as an Independent, you ran unopposed. As independent, how many votes did you get in the primary? I don't even know.
Buchanan: Well, what I did is I didn't have to do the primary. I got 15,000 signatures to get on the ballot, which was quite a feat, 460 volunteers collecting signatures. So when we got those signatures, we went straight to the general election.
Pat: Okay, so you got 15,000 signatures, so let's say that translates to 15,000 votes. That still puts you about 60,000 votes behind Rosendale. How do you make that up?
Buchanan: Well, the last election the Democrat lost by 60, some thousand votes. We're getting a lot of Republican support. Jim Peterson from up in your neck of the woods, former President of the Senate Dave Lewis, mark Roscoe. On the Democratic side. I've got AFLCIO. Endorsing me now. The Federation of Public Employees. So we're getting a hell of a lot of Republican and Democrat votes switching to Independent. At least you hope. Of course I hope.
Randy: Good morning, Gary. Gary Buchanan on the phone with us. I'm Randy Bogdan. And Gary, agriculture obviously is one of the primary forms of income to the state of Montana and occupations. There's several things in the news. The American Prairie Reserve. What's your stance on that? How do you feel about the American Prairie Reserve?
Buchanan: First of all, it's between buyers and willing sellers. But I think that the job with the community has to be improved immensely. And I think there may be some hope that folks to get along, but it's been so controversial and it needs to be open communication between both sides.
Randy: And another one is grizzly bears. And that's a big one where a lot of people in Montana feel they ought to be delisted. Yet our federal government has pushed back on that. What's your stance? Well, I was just in Choteau last week. I picked up the head of the Republican Party there, locally supported me, the Republican Central Committee. They told me there are 40 grizzlies in the Choteau area and they actually have to ring the school bell when there's a grizzly. So I think the future would be thoughtful state management as well as a more conciliatory federal government.
Pat: Gary Buchanan running independent district two US house race in November's election. That's a seat currently held by Matt Rosendale. Gary, one of the big issues here in Great Falls over the last week or so has been the sheriff of Cascade County, who's a Republican, and that is Jesse Slaughter. He is proposing that we put guns in the schools with people that I always call undercover, people in plain clothes that you wouldn't even know. He says they would be properly trained, they would get a weapon, and they would be in the schools to protect the kids. Now, this is optional for the schools. They don't have to do it if they don't want in Cascade County. Your thoughts on guns in schools.
Buchanan: I know Jesse's dad really well from when I chaired the Montana Border Crime Control. Listen, I've voted for every mill levy to increase police in Billings, and I'm absolutely not for defunding the police or the FBI, but I think I would probably be against that unless training would be extremely well provided. I'm not convinced that guns in the school would help at this stage.
Randy: Keeping on the gun topic, the House of Representatives recently passed some gun restriction laws, and they've tagged the word assault to basically 223, which is a stretch of the word, I guess. Where do you stand on assault rifles versus those types of bands?
Buchanan: I have given most of my guns to my grandson now because he's a more active hunter than I am, but I would have voted for the compromised bill at least. That was a start. The Senate House compromised bill, it provided some modest protections. I support the Second amendment, but I'm sorry, I don't know about the bill that moves assault weapons to 223 and I just haven't heard of it till now.
Pat: Yeah, I think it's before the Senate right now because Senator Tester told us that it's going to be a struggle in the Senate.
Randy: The thing was, they attached the word assault to that rifle. And that's where I guess I'm concerned, is that they're adding that word assault and then they're trying to make assault rifles illegal and they're attaching them to everyday rifles.
Buchanan: Well, I don't think you can make them illegal. We'd have to in this state confiscate thousands and thousands of assault rifles. I really don't know the bill that extended to 223. I assume that's more of a sporting rifle. But you guys have to tell me.
Pat: one other thing that's happening here in Cascade County and Great Falls in particular. And also I think it spreads out into a couple of other neighboring counties. Is the Big Sky National Heritage Area. Your thoughts on that?
Buchanan: I support it. I don't see why it threatens folks as much as it's been proclaimed. Yeah, a lot of people think it's a land grab by the federal government. Well, I don't. I absolutely opposed the federal transfer of lands to the state and I think most landowners are really responsible and I think that look Montana's get along. It's politicians that pull us apart. I think a more reasonable view of that is important.
Randy: What are some of the big topics that you want to hit on real quick?
Buchanan: Well, inflation, I think that's the number one concern going now. When I filed it was still called transitory. I support Chairman Powell. I think he has to work hard to stop inflation because I remember interest rates at 16, 17 and 18,%. it's very important that he gets control and it looks like he might be gaining some progress, but I think inflation is the number one thing.
Pat: Gary Buchanan running as an independent in District Two house race. That's a seat in the central and eastern part of the state that Matt Rosendale currently has. Gary, we're out of time, but it's great talking to you. If you come to town, let's visit again.
Buchanan: Okay, I'll come your way. Thank you very much for having me.
Pat: All right. Gary Buchanan here on the Voice of Montana 560 km. Well, that'll do it for our show today. For Randy Bogdan, I'm Pat Frisch. Have yourself a good one.