Orthopedic surgeon and state legislator Dr. Al Olszewski of Kalispell announced on Thursday that he is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Montana.

Reached between hearings at the state legislature in Helena, Dr. Olszewski explained his reasons for jumping into the gubernatorial race.

“My core mission and the thing that gets me out of the comfort my operating room is to do everything possible to improve the health of Montanans by making healthcare affordable,” said Olszewski. “At the urging of over 30 active legislators in the House and Senate the goal is to reestablish a healthy working relationship between the Governor’s office and the legislative branch. Quite honestly, those of us in the Republican Party are exhausted and frustrated by the issue of being tolerated for only 90 days while we’re here and then ignored for two years.”

Olszewski said a third issue deals with the reason most people live in Montana, the land itself.

“The reason we want to be healthy is so that we can enjoy Montana,” he said. “Not only do we want to protect our public lands, but we want to make sure we have open access to state lands for all purposes of recreation.”

Olszewski said he is 100 percent committed to finishing his work in the legislature and then he will conduct a statewide listening tour to ascertain the needs and wants of Montanans as he starts his active campaign.

He has accepted an invitation to appear on Talk Back as soon as possible following the close of the legislative session.

Attorney General Tim Fox and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton have both already thrown their hats in the ring for the Republican nomination for Governor.