State Senator and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Albert Olszewski from Kalispell is the first to declare his intention to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

Olszewski became involved in politics after seeing the massive number of onerous regulations in the healthcare industry as a practicing physician.

“What has happened is as these regulations have become more overbearing and excessive, what I felt as a practicing physician was that these regulations were getting between me and my patient,” Olszewski said.

The same situation has led Olszewski to seek higher office in Washington, D.C.

“Even at the state level, our hands are tied on how we can use our resources to set up truly affordable healthcare in Montana, and that’s because of the overreach of the federal government. Finally, watching what has happened to the American Healthcare Act that never made it to the floor (of the U.S. House of Representatives). As a physician, and a legislator, maybe I can bring my skills and knowledge to where healthcare is going in the 21st century.”

Olszewski said he has no particular bone to pick with Montana’s current U.S. Senator, Democrat Jon Tester.

“I’m not running against someone, I’m running to do something,” he said. “I applaud Senator Tester for trying to do something with veteran’s healthcare, but the fact is, those systems are doing poorly, and the current private healthcare market is on the verge of collapse. So, my running is more a sign of the times than just any individual.”

Olszewski said he supports and admires President Donald Trump as a man who is actually getting things done in Washington, D.C. He said he has already received support from prominent state republicans, such as former Congressman and now Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.

“Ryan Zinke reached out to me today.” He said. “We had a short conversation and he was very encouraging. Senator Steve Daines is in China, and after talking to his staff, he is out of communication.”

Olszewski said he has heard rumors that Montana Attorney general Tim Fox is also being spoken of as a possible Republican candidate for the Senate, but he said, the more candidates, the better for the voters to choose someone who can win the seat against Tester.

“It’s been a privilege to serve my patients, then my constituents as a legislator, and I would be very humbled to serve as Montana’s next U.S. Senator.”

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM