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Al Olszewski: Kalispell surgeon enters GOP race for Montana governor

(KPAX) The field of hopefuls in the 2020 race for Montana governor has a new addition.

State Senator Albert Olszewski, R-Kalispell, publicly announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

Olszewski, a Republican state senator and an orthopedic surgeon from Kalispell, was first elected in 2014 to the State Legislature as the Representative of House District 11.

He was elected in 2016 as the Senator for District 6. Olszewski first ran for public office as a candidate for lieutenant governor in the 2012 Republican Primary.

“My career has been dedicated to advocating for patients in the exam room, in the legislature, and as your governor, I will champion the unique needs of all Montanans in our capital,” Dr. Olszewski stated in a news release.

“Montanans deserve an honest, ethical government, that engages all people in building our future successes,” Olszewski told supporters. He added, “This is your government and your future – it belongs to you.”

Olszewski was born and raised in Great Falls. He graduated from C.M. Russell High School and completed his undergraduate degree at Carroll College in Helena. He then earned his doctorate degree from the University of Washington Medical School.

After medical school, he served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon and rapid mobility trauma surgeon.

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock can’t run again after finishing his second term next year, which leaves the race for governor wide open.

Two Republicans who currently hold statewide office — Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox — have also announced plans to run for governor.