Political newcomer Wayne Rusk is running for Montana House District 88, which encompasses the northern Bitterroot Valley, including Florence and Stevensville.

Rusk appeared on KGVO's Talk Back show and he was asked about some specific topics he has encountered while knocking on doors in his district, and his first response was an eye-opener.

“Speaking of going door to door, I was doing some campaigning here a couple days ago when I was in a neighborhood and I came to a house that looked like nobody was going to be home but I knocked anyway,” began Rusk. “The door came open and here's what looked like a 10 year old kid with a cigar hanging out of his mouth. I was little taken aback and so I finally said, are your mom and dad home? He took the cigar out of his mouth and squinted through the smoke and he says, What do you think?”

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Other more relatable topics that Rusk encountered included wildland forest management.

“We have to manage these lands, and what the well meaning preservation that has been practiced for the last 50 years, has ended in neglect in the end and so we need to do our duty,” he said. “That doesn't mean the over harvest of the past, but it also precludes the, the no-harvest of the present. We need to strike for a balance between those two things, I think it is possible, and I'm working my way to the front lines of those issues and trying to be part of that discussion.”

Rusk was asked about his opinion of CI-121 to address high property taxes.

“I have looked at that, that initiative and at this point, I am opposed to it on the grounds that it doesn't address our tax burden and the distribution of it in a way that is consistent with our state,” he said. “With that being said, we have a property tax burden and that needs to be looked at. But this is abrupt and it's going to have to be deliberated upon through our legislators at length and in a bigger scope than this, and so I'm hesitant to say any more right now on this initiative.”

Rusk was asked about his possible support for a Convention of the States in order to address important issued in the United States.

“I continue to look at the thing from the standpoint of its viability and the kind of public support that gets behind it,” he said. “We can't move any faster than the public will follow, and that and that's the way the Founders intended. They tethered all of this to the will of the people and coalesced into the representatives that then work through our Republican system.”

Primary election ballots for the general election will be mailed out on Friday, May 13.

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