Western congressional candidate Mitch Heuer pitches himself as ‘fix-it guy’ for Montana

Heuer, 59, is running for congress as a Republican in Montana’s western congressional district.

By: - May 24, 2022 5:50 pm

Mitch Heuer

In Mitch Heuer’s mind, Americans have been “settling for scraps” for too long, and the root of the problem for the western congressional candidates is term limits.

“The common denominator keeps coming back to an engineering type of mind is you got to start with the bodies of people that make the laws. They’re not producing nearly enough results for the American people, and the American people should be pissed off that we’re settling for scraps. And so yes, term limits, term limits,” Heuer said in an interview with the Daily Montanan.

Heuer, 59, is running for congress as a Republican in Montana’s western congressional district. In the primary, he is going up against former Trump cabinet member Ryan Zinke, former State Sen. Al Olszewski, pastor Mary Todd and high school government teacher Matt Jette.

On the Democratic side, public health expert Cora Neumann, Missoula lawyer Monica Tranel and former state Rep. Tom Winter are running for the seat.

Heuer is a Whitefish general contractor and small business owner who has lived in Montana for just more than five years after moving here from Colorado. He pitches himself as a “fix-it guy” for Montanans.

“I have 40 years of experience in project management, general contracting, and problem-solving … and I’m not of the establishment, I’m not on the payroll of any special interest. I’m just a fix-it guy.”

But with little name recognition and far less fundraising, Heuer recognized he is facing an uphill battle in the primary running against a household name like Zinke, who is the favorite to win the seat.

“The plan is God … God is around. God is a force to be reckoned with, and you know, he’s capable of anything,” Heuer said. “I’m not going to have the pocketbook that Mr. Zinke has, but I don’t have the baggage that he has either, and so it’s up to God and up to the constituents.”

While Heuer’s top priority is amending the constitution to include term limits, he also labeled the southern border as one of the biggest threats facing Montanans.

“We have a huge amount of fentanyl coming in. We have illegal drugs, we have human trafficking, I mean, you name it … And it is also a national security issue when we have people that are coming in that don’t, they don’t give a hoot about America,” he said.

In his comments about the southern border, Heuer criticized immigrants who enter the country illegally. “They’re not coming here to be an American. They’re not worried about conforming or assimilating to American values … our American values are being compromised,” he said.

To remedy the situation, he said he wants to finish building Trump’s border wall and give Immigration and Customs Enforcement more power.

Another top issue for Heuer is education.

“I’m an advocate for is a national education program because it’s so far-reaching with multiple good things that can come out of a great education system,” he said. “And Americans are looking for quick fixes, but that’s that’s not the way this is going to work. We need to approach it 10-20 years down the road, but we need to get started on it yesterday.”

And he said his proposal to bolster the American education system is to offer free college tuition in exchange for civil service.

“I don’t advocate for any handouts, but you’re actually robbing a person of their potential to become all that they can be when you give them a stimulus check,” he said. “But we can give them a rock-solid education with multiple layers that they can fall back on. And I would love to see as many people reach their full potential.”

The Daily Montanan’s candidate profiles for Republicans and Democrats running for  Montana’s two Congressional seats will run this week. The Daily Montana has reached out to candidates in this race, offering them the opportunity to speak with our reporters. The following candidates have either declined the opportunity or not responded: Al Olszewski, Matt Rosendale, Skylar Williams, Mary Todd and Ryan Zinke.

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. Keith was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. He can be reached by text or call at 406-475-2954 .