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Group of Republicans announce creation of Montana Freedom Caucus

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The Montana state Capitol in Helena on Jan. 2, 2023. PHOTO BY BLAIR MILLER / DAILY MONTANAN


A group of Montana Republicans announced this week they formed the Montana Freedom Caucus, which includes all four of the Republican members appointed to the newly created select committee on election integrity.

The caucus is led by Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, while its vice chairman is Rep. Jerry Schillinger, R-Circle. Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, and Sen. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, are also part of the more than 14-member caucus. All four comprise the Republican majority on the committee that will look into Montana’s election laws and processes.

A news release from the Montana Freedom Caucus says there are members of the caucus whose names were not on the release in addition to the 14 who were listed.

“We will stand on the founding principles of the supremacy of individual rights, limited government, and personal responsibility. We know that when government expands, liberty contracts,” Manzella said in the news release. “We stand for states’ rights and work to rein in federal overreach.”

The release says the caucus’ goals include refunding income tax surpluses, election integrity, promoting school choice programs, “securing medical freedom,” and “protecting religious freedom and free speech,” among other things.

The group mirrors the House Freedom Caucus in the U.S. Congress, which is comprised of the more right-leaning members of the Republican party – some of whose members have been involved in the fight to keep Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from becoming House Speaker.

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, a Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus, lauded the creation of the Montana Freedom Caucus in the news release, saying it “creates a coalition who will fight for Montana values and promote liberty and prosperity in our state legislature.”

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