HELENA – Calling himself a “Christian Tea Party Conservative Republican,” Drew Turiano of Helena said Friday he is running for the U.S. House in 2014.
Turiano becomes the fifth Republican in the primary race for the House. It’s an open seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Steve Daines, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014.
Other announced GOP candidates for the House are state Sen. Matt Rosendale of Glendive, former state Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings, and former state Sen. Ryan Zinke of Whitefish.
In addition, former Secretary of State Brad Johnson said Friday he “absolutely” is in the House race, but is waiting until after the holidays to formally announce.
Two Democrats are running – Melinda Gopher of Missoula and John Lewis of Helena.
Turiano, 39, initially ran as a Republican for governor in 2012, but switched to the secretary of state’s race because he wasn’t raising the money needed for a race for governor. Turiano finished last in the four-way primary won by Johnston.
Looking to 2014, Turiano said, “I’m hoping I’m the one who will be the conservative in that field. It’s going to be interesting.”
He said he’s running because he has issues he’s passionate about, such as abortion, immigration and state nullification of federal laws.
“I believe that life starts at conception,” Turiano said on his website. “I believe all abortions are immoral and should be banned.”
As for immigration, Turiano said, “I believe in sending back all illegal aliens to their counties of origin.”
Turiano said he believes every state has the right to nullify or reject any federal law or judicial mandate that it believes is not in its best interests. As examples of laws or judicial decisions that should be nullified, Turiano cited the Affordable Care Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in certain instances.
His website also advocates the impeachment of President Barack Obama, for any number of reasons.
“Would traditional and Christian America be so complacent if this dastardly transformation was being accomplished by an invading army like that of Stalin?” Turiano asked.