Zolnikov Considering US House Run?

Is a young GOP legislator from Billings, who has gained national notoriety for his work on provacy legislation, seriously considering a run for the US House?

Zolnikov confirmed to me that he was just joking about a run; however, I did receive a copy of the below letter to the editor from Kyle Schmauch that a whole host of young Montanans have signed on to:  

Real Political Leadership

In the midst of partisan vitriol in today’s politics, one Montana legislator stands out from the rest.  Forbes listed Representative Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings) as one of its “30 Under 30” this week.  The 32 of us who have signed this letter are also all under the age of 30, and come from all corners of Montana.  We want to congratulate Rep. Zolnikov, and thank him for his work to protect our privacy rights.

Zolnikov, 26, achieved the Forbes honor by pioneering legislation last session to protect our civil liberties.  He argued that government officials should have to obtain warrants to conduct searches of cell phone data even before Edward Snowden blew the whistle on massive, unconstitutional (according to two federal judges) NSA surveillance.  Once the Snowden scandal broke, Zolnikov’s work received international praise.  He has become a voice of a new generation of public officials who are committed to protecting our freedoms in the digital age.

As a young legislator, Zolnikov made Montana an example for the rest of the nation, and even other countries, to follow.  Laws similar to his requiring government to obtain warrants before accessing cell phone location data have now passed in numerous other states, and more privacy protections are on the way.

The current heated debate over digital privacy has broken down party lines and unified many in our generation.  We are the ones who will live through a new age of groundbreaking technology and innovation.  While these technologies provide exciting new opportunities, they can also create new threats to privacy and freedom if left unchecked. 

Daniel Zolnikov is on the cutting edge of securing smart policies that will protect our rights for generations to come.  We look forward to seeing more great work from him in the future, and again offer our gratitude and congratulations.

Kyle Schmauch, age 21, Kalispell

Mitch Staley, 24, Dillon

Missoula City Councilman Adam Hertz, 28, Missoula

SD 49 Candidate Mike Hopkins, 29, Missoula

John Perkins, 20, Helena  

Colleen Hoag, 21, Helena

Gwendolyn Coon, 23, Helena

Zach Pavlicek, 21, Great Falls

Evan Rau, 21, Hardy Creek

Mark Simonton, 21, Glendive

Mahkia Clark, 21, Sweet Grass

Jordan Fitzgerald, 23, Forsyth

Christian Jackson, 21, Billings

Dan Stusek, 26, Billings

Ashlynn Anderson, 21, Billings

Spencer Sheehan, 21, Billings

Asa Hohman, 27, Missoula

Matt Haefner, 21, Missoula

Ryan Hazen, 22, Missoula

Shane St. Onge, 19, Kalispell

Brandon Simpson, 21, Kalispell

Heather Hoff, 21, Kalispell

Sean Fleenor, 20, Eureka

Ryan Watson, 22, Missoula

Brittni Hertz, 27, Missoula

Nick McKinney, 20, Missoula

Travis Suzuki, 24, Missoula

Kendall Cotton, 20, Florence

Erin Toole, 23, Florence

Caleb Hinkle, 21, Bozeman

Kyndall Miller, 21, Laurel 

Betsy Story, 19, Emigrant

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