The chair of the Montana Republican Party announced today his candidacy for mayor of the state’s largest city. YPR's Jackie Yamanaka caught up with Jeff Essmann, as he’s also a legislator who’s served in both the Senate and House.
Representative Jeff Essmann says he began thinking about entering the race during this Legislative session.
"I noticed what I was working on and it dawned on me that maybe there's another role for me to play in public service," said Essmann.
He says this includes public works projects to improve roads and expand the bike and pedestrian trails in Billings. He’s also wants to tackle sexual assault cases.
"If we can create a special victim's unit our police department so those crimes can be investigated and prosecuted," said Essmann.
And he wants a bigger role for MSU Billings.
"So it can play an important part in our workforce development, I mean, those are tangible things that will provide real benefits for a long-long time in my hometown," said Essmann.
He says if elected, he will be a "hands-on" mayor who wants to accomplish these and other goals.
Essmann joins architect Randy Hafer as candidates to succeed Mayor Tom Hanel, who is prevented by term limits from seeking another term this fall.