Montana Republican Rodney Garcia will not resign from his House seat representing Billings' southside after he made controversial comments in early February.
Montana Republican leaders had called for his resignation after Garcia said socialists should "go to prison" or "be shot." He made the comments during a question and answer session with former U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke.
On Monday, Garcia approached MTN News with a letter calling the comments a "well-received joke" and said he had every right to say it based on his constitutional rights.
"I thought I took an oath to serve and protect the people, all of the people even the socialists," said Garcia. "I improperly made a statement and said either we can shoot them or put them in prison and I have the right to say what I want according to the constitution."
Former Ward 3 Billings City Council member Chris Friedel, who did not file for re-election last year did file last Thursday to run against Garcia for state senator in District 46.