Republican Fred Thomas of Stevensville has announced his candidacy for the State Senate in District 45. The former Montana Senate Majority Leader left his leadership position and returned to private life in 2004.
In a press release, Thomas said that at that time Montana had a budget surplus, lower taxes and an unemployment rate that was near 4%. “I have become very concerned about the course Montana is on,” Thomas states in the release. “I believe in letting the private sector drive our economy and limiting government intervention in citizens’ lives. We need to get Montana back on the right track.”
Regarding the unemployment crisis, Thomas states, “Federally created jobs come with an expiration date. Montanans want jobs created by their community—not their congressman. I see Ravalli County suffering. Unemployment has risen above 10%. Our district needs a real fiscal conservative to answer the call and get Ravalli County’s economy rolling again.”
“Honestly, I have even seen some Republicans take positions that are in opposition to the core values of limited government,” states Thomas in the release. “We need to forget this notion that more bureaucratic intervention and spending will save us. That’s just plain wrong. That approach has gotten us to where we are today.”
Thomas served as a member of the Montana State Senate from 1996-2004. As Senate Majority Leader, Thomas led the successful effort to reduce Montana’s income tax from the highest in the nation to 6.9%. He also managed a limited-government agenda that was designed to attract business and jobs to the state. He also sponsored the bill that led to energy deregulation in Montana.
“My campaign platform is simple,” states Thomas in the press release. “Let’s get back to the principles that fueled job growth in Montana. Let’s remember what made Montana thrive. Let’s learn from recent mistakes. As they say, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Thomas stated that if elected, restoring faith in politicians will be no easy task. “People are angry at all levels of government and they have a right to be. I want to serve as Ravalli County’s voice. This means listening and conversing with the people of my community.”
He said people in the district have urged him to run because they are upset with the direction of the country. Fred is a third generation Montanan who was born and raised in the Bitterroot. He is branch manager of Western States Insurance Agency with offices in Hamilton and Stevensville. Fred lives in Stevensville with his wife Suzie, where they raised their sons Tyler, Marcus and Scott.