Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Retired U.S. Navy SEAL and Bozeman businessman Tim Sheehy has officially entered the race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by three-term incumbent Jon Tester.

KGVO News reached out to Sheehy for a one-on-one interview about why he chose to run, and what he brings to the race against a powerful well-connected incumbent Democrat.

Retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy Announces Run for the U.S. Senate

“I do think the American people and especially Montanans are ready for a change,” began Sheehy. “He (Tester) is the definition of the establishment. He's been in office for almost a quarter century. Montanans look at the government, in my opinion, and I think we saw this during COVID, and they say government is not the solution to our problems. It's not the solution to educating our children. It's not the solution to our healthcare. It’s not the solution to our economy. Because when the government pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, we get inflation, which has had an extremely targeted impact on rural states like Montana.”

Sheehy Acknowledged Tester's Chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee

KGVO pointed out the fact that Senator Tester is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and asked how he would address that challenge.

“You can sit on the Veterans Affairs Committee, you can have the haircut, you can do the whole thing, but at the end of the day if you haven't worn the cloth of this nation; if you haven't served in combat; if you haven't set foot on the field of battle, then there's a fundamental difference,” he said. “The people who wore the uniform know and people who are combat veterans know that there's a bond there that can't be replaced by any amount of committees or any haircuts or any number of years in office earning handouts or pandering to veterans.”

KGVO pointed out the revolving door that has been a part of the Veterans Administration over the years and said he understands the needs of Montana’s veterans. He contrasted the country’s commitment to the homeless and to drug addicts with its treatment of veterans.

“If I need meds as a wounded veteran or another veteran needing treatment, we have to have to go to a facility and wait in line and get a prescription and wait to get those drugs,” he said. So if you're a veteran undergoing a crisis, you have to go through a system and get forms filled out and talk to a doctor and subject yourself to the conveyor belt of care. But if you're a homeless person with a criminal record in one of these blue cities, you can just walk up to a vending machine and get wherever you need.”

Sheehy said he has Received Support from a Wide Variety of Montanans

Sheehy said he has received an overwhelming amount of support from veterans and others in Montana after he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

“To be honest, the most powerful endorsements I've got that have meant the most to me are guys who served alongside overseas who I hadn't talked to in years who went hearing the news last couple of months that hey, I really hope to get in. We need leaders we need guys who've been on the field of battle, and understand what sacrifice is in servant leadership is really hard to get in the race guys that work for our company mechanics, pilots, construction workers that have built our buildings here saying, ‘Hey, I'm reading the news you might run I hope you do’, and hearing that from our working class and the salt of the earth people that really make this country run, that's been the most exciting endorsement for me.”

Sheehy is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and owner of Bridger Aerospace in Bozeman.

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