U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) now has some competition for the primary election come June 2.
But unless you’ve paid a visit to the Eastside Ace Hardware in Stevensville, you’ve probably never heard of his new competitor. Store manager Dan Larson was born and raised in Montana, and although he’s never run for office before, he wants to be the next Republican Senator for Montana.
“I’m doing it because I believe there are some fundamental tenants within the rule of law,” said Larson. “We need people that stand courageously up for principals and don’t follow where Washington goes.”
Larson paid his filing fee last week and will run as a Republican, challenging incumbent Sen. Daines in the primary. A rookie in the world of politics, Larson said he doesn’t believe there’s a specific path you have to follow if you want to make change.
“I believe in God and I believe that he prepares us for certain things, and you know, I’ve had a very Montana experience,” said Larson, “I went from barely graduating high school to discovering the strength to go to college, then getting there and finding the optimism to go to grad school, so it’s not like you have to go to an ivy league, go to Georgetown, be a lawyer and then be a politician, it’s more like just be a member of your community.”
Larson said this race needs a conservative with true Christian values, who advocates for limited government and responsible spending. If elected, he said he can make the Republican case for universal basic income.
“I am a big fan of universal basic income,” Larson explained, adding, “If the government isn’t good at doing a lot of things, then let’s just do the things that we know will work. It’s a commitment to statistics...let’s use those. Let’s agree about what the data set is, let’s agree about what the problem is and let’s solve it.”
Larson said he comes from a family of debaters, and he’s confident that he can be a catalyst for change.
“If you have a respected problem solver representing conservative ideals, you would have power against Bernie Sanders, and if you have a principled person that’s willing to stand up to money...well Trump’s not gonna win with me. If that sounds good, like you could have a U.S. senator that would change your tire, then I’m your guy."
For now, if you want to learn more about Larson’s platform, you’ll need to catch him while he’s on the clock. “Right now you would have to have a conversation with me at the hardware store.”