Rodney Garcia

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Rodney Garcia
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
In office
January 7, 2019 – January 4, 2021
Preceded byJimmy Patelis
Succeeded byJimmy Patelis
Personal details
Born (1954-01-27) January 27, 1954 (age 68)
Billings, Montana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceBillings, Montana

Rodney Garcia (born January 27, 1954) is an American politician who served as a member of the Montana House of Representatives from 2019 to 2021.[1] He represented the 52nd district, which includes Billings, Montana.[2]

During his tenure, Garcia served on the Local Government Committee, State Administration Committee, and Transportation Committee.[1]

In 2020, Garcia ran for the 26th district seat of the Montana Senate. He lost to Chris Friedel in the Republican primary.[3]

Controversies[edit]

In 2018, Garcia admitted to a newspaper that he'd previously been convicted of a charge related to a domestic dispute with his ex-wife, though he denied wrongdoing.[4]

In 2019, in an interview for a militia news outlet, he referred to Child Protective Services as "kidnappers."[5]

On January 31, 2020, at a Republican party gathering in Helena, he raised concerns about socialists inside the government. Speaking to a reporter after the event, he described socialists as "enemies of the free state"[6] and claimed, "So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot."[7] When asked to reflect on the appropriateness of his comment, he insisted, "I agree with my Constitution. That’s what makes us free. We’re not a democracy, we’re a Republic Constitution."[7] The Montana Republican Party condemned Garcia's comments as "reckless and un-American" and demanded Garcia's immediate resignation.[8][6][9] Garcia responded that the "only way I would give my resignation is if God asked me to." He also told reporters that he'd received threats from people who "want to shoot me," and he warned, "If you miss, I won’t.”[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rodney Garcia's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  2. ^ State of Montana. "Rodney Garcia (R)". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "2020 Legislative Primary Election Canvass" (PDF). Montana Secretary of State. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. ^ Johnson, Clair (16 January 2018). "Who will be Billings' newest representative — a retired oil field worker, a millennial with 'youthful ambition' or a former parole officer?". Billings Gazette. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  5. ^ Pogreba, Don (February 27, 2019). "Representative Rodney Garcia Attacks Child Protective Services, Calling them Kidnappers, on a Militia News Outlet". The Montana Post. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "'Enemies of the free state': Constitution calls for socialists to be jailed or shot, lawmaker says". Washington Times. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Michels, Holly. "Billings legislator insists Constitution says it's OK to shoot socialists". Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Drake, Phil (3 February 2020). "GOP leadership calls on Garcia to resign from state House". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  9. ^ Mettler, Katie (2020-02-04). "GOP lawmaker who falsely said it's legal to shoot socialists ignores his party's calls to resign". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  10. ^ Hanson, Amy Beth (3 February 2020). "Montana House leadership asks lawmaker to resign". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2020-02-07.