Republican State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner candidate Troy Downing appeared on the KGVO Talk Back program on Tuesday to answer questions from the audience about why he’s running for the office currently held by fellow Republican Matt Rosendale.

Downing provided a brief description of the office and its responsibilities.

“Ultimately, this is a consumer protection agency,” began Downing. “You’re watching out to make sure that consumers are being protected against bad actors. However, what I’ve seen in my career is there are lots of heavy handed regulators who make it hard to do business simply because they can. They make things too complicated. They’re making sure you’re dotting your ‘i’s and crossing your ‘t’s on the administrative side, but for businesses to thrive the more energy we can put into actually building that business, the better the product, the cheaper the product, then the more we can handle customer issues and I think that ends up being good for the customer.”

Downing described more responsibilities of the office of State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner.

“On the securities side, I’ve worked in securities,” he said. “I’ve built, sold and managed securities, I’ve been an owner and a broker dealer, we’re a FINRA member, I’ve been licensed under FINRA and I’ve had a securities license. That’s another part, basically making sure that people in that industry building their businesses can thrive and make sure you come down hard on bad actors.”

Another important aspect of the office is being a member of the State Land Board.

“The Land Board is using state trust lands to fund mostly public education,” he said. “I really see this as elevating the backbone of Montana’s economy,” he said. “We’re doing that with grazing leases, ag leases, timber permits, mining and drilling and with all these different uses of land and that money is being used to support public education.”

Other candidates for the office include Republican Nelly Nicol and Democrat Shane Morigeau.

Rosendale is giving up his seat to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives.