Daniel Larson 2020 Election Questionnaire
Montana Public Radio is gathering information on all statewide primary candidates to publish as a resource for our audience. We asked all the statewide candidates to respond to the following questions via email, limiting their answers to 300 words per question. These are their unedited responses.
U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Larson:
What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?
Daniel R Larson
What is your age?
Where do you live?
What is your education background?
University of Montana, Missoula Montana 2004
B.S. Business Administration
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 2006
M.S. Business Administration
What is your current occupation?
General Manager- Florence Ace Hardware and Eastside Ace Hardware
Why are you running for this particular public office?
In 1982, my grandfather Richard P Christy was fined $2500 for shooting a Grizzly bear that was attacking his sheep. Rather than paying the fine, my grandfather spent a small fortune defending his constitutional right to protect his property in court. He fought his case to the Supreme Court, The court did not hear the case, but Justice Byron White issued a dissenting opinion. Occasionally my grandfather would read that opinion to me out loud; I remember the smile on his face and the glint in his eye as he read every word. See, my grandfather knew he had stood up for what was right, and for him, it was worth every penny and the years of legal challenges.
In February, it was clear to me that someone needed to stand up for what is right. We are living in unprecedented times, and the Republican political establishment chose politics over the people of this nation. The protection of the rule of law is the most sacred responsibility we entrust to our representatives. I am running to give Montana an option to stand up for what is right.
I believe in this country, and I want to help. I am a father of four, and the future I see for my children is not one I am comfortable with. In my lifetime, I have observed a political system that is plagued with corruption and cronyism, a system that is unable to respond to our basic needs. A system that defends corporations and special interests, while fanning the flames of division.
When I looked out and witnessed an incumbent, who for the last six years, chose to serve the political establishment over the people of Montana, running unchallenged for reelection, I knew I had the responsibility to step up to give voters an option for change.
What makes you qualified to hold this position?
I am qualified for this position because I listen to people; I seek to understand issues deeply from multiple perspectives and work for solutions that target the root cause of a problem.
My life in Montana has not been easy. I understand the issues we all face. I grew up here, started a family here, struggled to find an economic footing, and left the State for work. I returned to share my love of this State with my family, but Montana is still a hard place to live.
I would like to change this reality. I have transformed businesses by empowering people, creating effective teams, and implementing solutions based on data and root cause problem-solving. If this method works in a chocolate plant or a hardware store, I am confident it will work in our federal government.
What are three policy issues that distinguish you from your opponent(s)?
The Keystone XL Pipeline does not make economic sense for Montana. The jobs created are temporary and will overburden our rural communities. Tar sands oil is among the most energy-intensive oil on the planet; it does not have a viable economic or environmental future. The pipeline does not improve domestic energy independence. The long-term ecological impacts pose an unacceptable risk to Montana.
Senate Bill 3019, The Montana Water Rights Protection Act does not adequately resolve water rights in Western Montana.
Corporate Bailouts- We are living in challenging economic times; no one person is responsible, but nearly every member of our congressional delegation played a part in celebrating an economy at the brink of collapse. Our economy needs to be protected from the worst effects of greed and corruption. The U.S. government should not subsidize high-risk behaviors. Bailouts are not an effective economic stimulus.
What are the greatest issues facing Montana that have gone unsolved by elected officials and how would you address them?
I believe the health of our rural communities is the most significant issue we face. Our farmers and ranchers labor in a system that overburdens independent producers with enormous debt and highly volatile commodity markets.
I would address this crisis by fighting against the political influences in big agriculture, banking, and International Trade. We need to deliver solutions that; ensure a fair price for the goods produced by Montana farmers and ranchers, provide access to capital at a price Montanans can afford, improve the resilience of our food supply, and the economic strength of our rural communities.