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Q&A: Troy Downing, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 02

Troy Downing

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?

Troy Downing

What is your age?


Where do you live?

Helena, Montana

What is your education background?

Computer Science at New York University, research scientist and educator at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Research Scientist at the New York Center for Advanced Technology. Founding research scientist at the NYU Media Research Lab.

Please list your current and previous occupations.

Current: Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. Partner Wildrye Distilling, Partner Defeet International.

Previous: Research Scientist and Educator at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, founded multiple companies including WebCal and a nationwide commercial insurance company and real estate firm.

Served in the US Air Force and the Air National Guard as an HH60-G Pave Hawk helicopter flight engineer in a combat search and squadron. Founder and former CEO of AC Self Storage Solutions.

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House?

My motivation to seek a seat in the U.S. House stems from a deep-seated desire to serve my fellow Montanans and address the issues that matter most to them. My formative years growing up in a lower-middle class family and having the opportunity to build my “American Dream” taught me this Country is special and worth fighting for. My time serving in the U.S. Air Force profoundly shaped my perspective. It instilled in me a sense of duty, sacrifice, and a commitment to protecting and serving others. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of effective leadership and inspired me to continue my service in a different capacity – as a representative in Congress.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana?

Stop printing money. Adding money to any system causes prices to rise. We will feel the pain from the tremendous amount of money printed, loaned, and forgiven during the Covid pandemic. We must exercise fiscal restraint. We must cut spending, cap borrowing, and eliminate inefficient government programs. Growing the economy is the other side of that coin. Reducing tax burdens on job-creating businesses has proven effective in growing the economy. Printing more money, or, forgiving debt, as the Biden Administration is proposing with student loan programs will certainly be an upward inflationary pressure.

Congress should also prioritize measures to enhance energy independence and promote domestic production of essential goods. This includes supporting policies that encourage responsible development of natural resources. Empowering individuals and families through targeted tax relief and incentivizing workforce participation will provide much-needed relief and support to Montana residents. By promoting policies that stimulate economic growth, reduce unnecessary government intervention, and prioritizing the needs of hardworking Montanans, Congress can effectively ease the impacts of inflation and the cost of living in our state.

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion?

Yes. A fundamental right we all have is life.

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded?

I believe in upholding the integrity of our electoral process while ensuring transparency and fairness in campaign funding. We should prioritize efforts to enforce existing campaign finance laws effectively.

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border?

We are a Nation of immigrants. That being said, a nation without borders is not a nation. We need to restructure our asylum rules. If we don’t have the manpower nor facilities to timely process asylum requests, we must stop seekers at the border. We need to reinstate Title 42 type laws and make sure our system is not overrun. We absolutely must prioritize enhancing our nation’s immigration laws and strengthening security at the southern border to uphold the safety and sovereignty of our country. We need to know who is crossing our borders and why. At the southern border, Congress must allocate resources for the construction of physical barriers where necessary, deploy advanced surveillance technology, and increase the number of border patrol agents to effectively secure our borders.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?

I believe that managing public lands should prioritize responsible stewardship, sustainability, multiple use, and local input. Top priorities include promoting multiple-use principles that balance conservation with economic development, ensuring access for recreational activities, and safeguarding against wildfires and other environmental threats. One key priority is fostering partnerships between federal, state, and local authorities, as well as private landowners and stakeholders, to effectively manage public lands. This collaboration can lead to innovative solutions for land management challenges while respecting the rights of all parties involved. Additionally, investing in proactive forest management practices, such as thinning and prescribed burns, is essential for reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires and maintaining healthy ecosystems.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?

Congress should get out of the way and allow the private sector to innovate and find market-based solutions. It is essential to recognize the importance of maintaining America’s energy independence and supporting domestic energy production, including development of our natural resources. This approach strengthens national security but also ensures affordable and reliable energy for American families.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults?

Our seniors earned and deserve their full benefits of Medicare and Social Security. It is crucial for Congress to take steps to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of Social Security and Medicare. One approach I advocate for is to promote fiscal responsibility and address the underlying factors contributing to financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare. Congress should prioritize policies that encourage personal responsibility and empower individuals to save and plan for their retirement healthcare needs. This includes promoting Health Savings Accounts and 401(k) plans. Congress should also explore innovative solutions for delivering healthcare more efficiently and effectively, such as telemedicine and value-based care models, to ensure older adults receive quality care while controlling costs.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities?

First, we can drastically reduce crime by stopping cartels, drug-runners, and human traffickers from crossing our porous Southern border and setting up operations in tribal communities. Congress should prioritize supporting tribal law enforcement agencies through increased funding for law enforcement, training, and resources to improve public safety and combat crime in tribal communities. However, it is essential to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively, with a focus on promoting accountability and transparency in tribal law enforcement agencies. Congress should also explore opportunities for enhanced coordination and partnerships between tribal, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to improve information sharing, enhance cross-jurisdictional cooperation, and strengthen the overall effectiveness of law enforcement in Indian Country.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?

Show up. Do the Work. Be Transparent. The same things I’m known for in my current elected office. Building trust in Congress is a top priority. I would strive to foster a culture of transparency and accountability to restore faith in our democratic institutions. I will prioritize open communication with constituents. I will also support legislation to strengthen ethics rules, improve campaign finance disclosure, and reduce the influence of special interests in policy making. Lastly, I will ensure that my offices are easily accessible and open to the public, so that they may come to my office with issues that they are dealing with in their communities.