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2024 Montana Primary elections
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Q&A: Tim Sheehy, Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

 Tim Sheehy is running to replace Jon Tester in Montana’s U.S. Senate race.
Tim Sheehy
Tim Sheehy is running to replace Jon Tester in Montana’s U.S. Senate race.

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.


What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?

Tim Sheehy

What is your age?

38

Where do you live?

Bozeman, MT

What is your education background?

A graduate of the Naval Academy class of 2008, earning a history degree, I was the first Midshipman to participate in the U.S. Army Special Operations exchange program and the first to graduate from U.S. Army Ranger School. Immediately after graduation, I was commissioned into the U.S. Navy and completed SEAL training. I met my wife, Carmen, who served as a US Marine Corps Officer, at the US Naval Academy.

Please list your current and previous occupations.

Former Navy SEAL

Aerial Firefighter

CEO and Founder, Bridger Aerospace

CEO and Founder, Ascent Vision Technologies

Founder, Little Belt Cattle Company

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S Senate? 

America is at a crossroads. As a father to four young children and a business owner responsible for hundreds of families, the decision to run for U.S. Senate was tough, but when your country calls, you must answer.

I never considered entering politics until Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal washed away the sacrifices made by our family and closest friends. It was heart-wrenching.

Biden’s arbitrary Afghanistan withdrawal sent a message of weakness around the world, killed 13 Americans, and abandoned our allies. I fought our nation’s longest war. I worked to save our allies. I understand duty, service, and sacrifice. That day showed me something was seriously wrong in D.C. and motivated me to run for U.S. Senate.

Not to mention that the career politicians back in Washington have dug us into a massive hole. If we don’t right the ship now, we may never recover.

It’s time for a new generation of leaders to save our country from the career politicians — Republicans and Democrats — who run for office after office, go to D.C. to get rich, and lecture us about “fighting for you” while our problems only get worse.

What, if anything, should the Senate do to address the federal deficit? 

We are $34 trillion in debt. $34 trillion. The spending in Washington is out of control, and the career politicians are doing absolutely nothing to rein it in.

If we don’t fix our spending problem, we’ll be handing our children an insolvent nation, and the only thing our tax dollars will do is service our national debt. We must balance the budget and begin to lower our national debt.

As a business owner and father of four, I know what it’s like to balance a checkbook – but D.C. continues to spend like drunken sailors, and now we’re all paying the cost.

The quickest way to balance the budget is to ensure that politicians who fail to pass a balanced budget don’t get paid because our country’s economic security should never be jeopardized for the sake of politics. You are not allowed to run your business that way, and they shouldn’t be allowed to run our nation that way.

If politicians can’t pass a balanced budget, they shouldn’t get paid. No balanced budget, no paycheck!

Yes or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion? 

I am proudly pro-life and support commonsense protections for when a baby can feel pain, as well as exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, and I believe any further limits must be left to each state.

Like most Montanans, I believe that allowing an elective abortion up until the moment of birth – let me say that again, up until the moment of birth – is an extreme position. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Most Montanans believe abortion should be legal in most cases. There is no recent polling showing support or opposition on the timeframe abortions should be allowed.]

I strongly believe in helping bring more life into this world, including through our philanthropy benefitting Montana health care, which helped bring the upgraded neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to the Gallatin Valley to provide critical care to at-risk infants as well as helping Billings Clinic establish Montana’s first Level I Trauma Center.

I also stand in strong support of IVF as a path for Montana families to grow and thrive when they struggle to conceive naturally, like my brother and sister-in-law who battled infertility for three years, and eventually were blessed with my nephew through IVF. I will fight against any effort to restrict IVF treatments for women and families.

What, if anything, should the Senate do to address climate change? 

We must talk truth about climate change. The climate has always been changing but the Left’s climate change agenda is not about the environment, it’s about control.

We need to stand strong against the radical climate cult agenda that senselessly kills Montana jobs, weakens our economy, crushes business, and seeks to control Montanans by weaponizing the cancerous ideology of ESG. As a public company’s CEO, I know personally how this woke crap is stripping us of our freedoms.

We must fight back. We must also take a strong stand against the disastrous socialist Green New Deal that would destroy Montana’s economy and jobs and devastate our communities.

We need to embrace commonsense policies that benefit the economy and environment simultaneously. It’s time to make America energy independent and dominant again by unleashing all forms of American energy and innovation and increasing active forest management. We should be able to responsibly develop those resources here at home to create more high-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and support our communities, all while protecting the environment. This isn’t an either/or choice like the left would have you believe. We can do both.

 

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded? 

We have too many career politicians who are bought by lobbyists, special interests, and swampy D.C. insiders because they need their money to fund re-election campaigns after re-election campaigns.

I’ve been blessed to live the American dream, and can’t be bought. I’ll do the right thing in office because it’s the right thing for Montana and America. That’s why I’m so tired of hearing career politicians talk about how they’re going to “fight” for America. I think they’re full of it. I’m pretty sure they’re fighting for their own political careers and lobbyist cash to get re-elected.

What, if anything, should the Senate do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border? 

Montana is a northern border state with a southern border problem because the career politicians back in D.C. clearly can’t get the job done. What’s happening at the southern border is an absolute crisis and will keep getting worse unless we change course.

To end the crisis at the border, we must remove the incentives for illegal immigration and bring back President Trump’s successful policies of Remain in Mexico and ending Catch and Release. We can’t keep spending billions on free flights, housing, clothes, food, and health care for illegal immigrants coming here through the wide-open border while we’re $34 trillion in debt, have tens of thousands of homeless veterans on the street, and millions of hardworking Americans are struggling to make ends meet.

As your Senator, I’ll do what it takes to keep America safe and pass enduring legislation to stop migrant crime and keep deadly drugs, like Chinese fentanyl, off our streets.

We need a new generation of strong leadership to crush the cartels, finish the wall, seal the border, end illegal immigration once and for all, and put America First!

What, if anything, should the Senate do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults? 

We must keep our commitment to every Montana senior to protect their Social Security and Medicare benefits. Our nation made a promise to our seniors, and I will fight each and every day to honor that promise and preserve the benefits they’ve earned.

What should be the top priority when managing public land?  

Public lands are part of our Montana way of life. Public lands must stay in public hands, and it’s important we listen to the voices of local communities when considering public lands policy. As Senator, I will work to preserve and expand access to our public lands.

Montanans know best how to manage our land, not the Washington bureaucrats. I oppose the sale of our public lands and a federal transfer of our public lands – full stop. I support better stewardship of our public lands, including through active forest management.

We must also bring back common sense. If we can responsibly manage our forests, we can harvest timber, create high-paying jobs, and reduce the threat of wildfires. We can power America’s resurgence with our God-given natural resources. We should be able to responsibly develop those resources here at home to create more high-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and support our communities, all while protecting the environment and our national security.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in the Senate?

The first step to solving our country’s problems and building trust is kicking out the career politicians and bringing in a new generation of leadership.

As a former Navy SEAL, combat veteran, aerial firefighter, and successful business owner, I’ve learned what it means to have service, sacrifice, and accountability at the center of my mission – and that's the type of leadership we need back in Washington.

I’ve served our country since I was 18 and created hundreds of jobs from scratch with a veteran-led team. I don’t need the money from lobbyists or special interests; I can do the right thing in office because it’s the right thing for Montana and America.

I signed my own ethics pledge to raise the bar for ethical responsibility and accountability in Washington, which includes imposing term limits, a lifetime lobbyist ban for former members of Congress, banning individual stock, bonds, commodities, and all other securities trading by members of Congress and their spouses, and ensuring politicians who fail to pass a balanced budget don’t get paid.

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