(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump has offered “complete and total endorsement” of his former secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, who has filed as a Republican to run for Montana’s newly created 2nd Congressional District House seat.
“As Montana’s Congressman for the new 2nd District, Ryan will fight against the Radical Left Democrats who continually block the America First policies we put in place,” Trump said in a statement issued early Friday through the Save America PAC.
“He will be a strong leader for the great Patriots of Montana,” said the former president.
Zinke, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, was lauded by Trump for his leadership while serving atop the Interior Department, a post he held from 2017 to late 2018. During that time, Trump said the U.S. “achieved Energy Dominance, increased federal energy revenues, and responsibly opened federal acreage for energy production.”
Zinke “was instrumental in expanding public access to public lands for recreation and rebuilding our National Parks and Forests infrastructure,” the former president added.
Zinke filed his paperwork in April after it became apparent that Montana would be awarded an additional House seat based on 2020 U.S. Census results.
Before joining the Trump administration, Zinke served in the Montana Senate from 2009-2013 and became the state’s only House member from 2015-2017. Trump appointed him to run Interior in early 2017.
At the former president’s direction, Zinke broadly rolled back restrictions on oil and gas drilling. He resigned from his post in December 2018 amid what he called politically motivated investigations.
After leaving the Trump administration, Zinke became a consultant and board member at a Nevada mining company, U.S. Gold Corp.
He also became the managing director and consultant for a North Carolina-based private investment company, Artillery One, before joining a Washington lobbying firm, Turnberry Solutions.