Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke

HELENA – Former state Sen. Ryan Zinke, R-Whitefish, officially filed Saturday as a candidate for the U.S. House by vowing to work to stop the downward spiral in Washington, D.C.

In a speech at the VFW Hall in Whitefish, Zinke said he took an oath of office 29 years ago Saturday, after he had completed college, to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and proudly became a U.S. Navy sailor.

“Now I stand before you, a little older, a little less hair on my head, but just as proud of my country and the 23 years I served as a U.S. Navy SEAL,” Zinke said in remarks prepared for delivery. “I am ready to accept a new challenge, and continue to dedicate myself to public service.”

He became the fourth Republican to file for the open U.S. House, joining state Sen. Elsie Arntzen of Billings, Sen. Matt Rosendale of Glendive and former Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings.

Zinke said no political party seems to have been able to stop the slide in Washington.

“In our military, when all else fails we send in the Navy SEALs to get the tough jobs done,” Zinke said. “It’s time to get the tough jobs done.”

He said he was a Navy SEAL for nearly a quarter century and served as commander of SEAL Team Six.

Zinke offered these ideas to fix this country:

• Abandon the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” and empower states to find the right fix that lets Americans keep their doctor and insurance.

• Stop spending money this country doesn’t have by reducing the size of “our overreaching government.”

• Create jobs and grow the economy by “getting the government out of the way.”

• Work on making the country energy independent, stop the war on fossil fuels and invest in the U.S. infrastructure.

“I believe Washington can be fixed because the true strength of America is not in the government, but in the resolve and character of our people,” Zinke said. “I reject the premise that the sun is setting on America.”

Zinke also released this campaign video in conjunction with his filing, which can be viewed at youtu.be/TAXnLq6bjiE.

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