Update 10/2/17 – Downing was cited by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials in July for seven misdemeanors related to hunting and fishing licenses he obtained even though he didn’t meet the state’s residency requirements, according to the source. The self-storage operator pleaded not guilty in August.
Downing allegedly made illegal purchases of resident hunting and/or fishing licenses five times between 2011 and 2016. He’s also accused of loaning an elk license to another hunter and helping his son obtain a resident license in 2015.
Non-resident licenses are more expensive than those issued to Montana residents, the source reported. A person must live in the state for 180 days to meet the residency requirement. A previous report indicated Downing had been a full-time Montana resident for several years.
"He is confident that these issues are nothing more than administrative oversights that will be resolved in his favor once he's had an opportunity to make his case," Downing's attorney, Christopher Williams, told the source.
5/18/17 – Troy Downing, CEO of real estate investment firm AC Self Storage Solutions LLC, has filed paperwork in Montana to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 against two-term incumbent Democrat Jon Tester. Downing, 50, filed with the Federal Election Commission on May 8 and joins state senator Al Olszewski as Republicans vying for the midterm seat, according to the source.
"I want to be part of the solution preserving the Last Best Place," Downing told The Associated Press, referring to Montana's unofficial motto. "I'm tired of the dysfunction and the anger that we're seeing, and I think I have some interesting perspectives."
Though AC Self Storage is based in California and Downing has homes in both states, the entrepreneur has been a full-time Montana resident for several years, the source reported. He met with Republicans in Washington, D.C., when considering his candidacy and intends to reach out to Montana central-committee members now that his campaign is official. “I’m going to start going through the GOP list and introducing myself,” Downing said.
Downing posted Tweets in the last year that were critical of President Donald Trump, but he told the source he supports the Trump Administration and believes the president is on track to improve the nation’s economy and security.
Downing’s career includes a stint as a researcher and teacher of Internet technologies at New York University. An airplane and helicopter pilot, he’s an Air Force veteran who joined the military after 9-11.
Since 2014, he’s been a board member for Charity Storage, a nonprofit foundation that raises money for charitable causes. Downing has been a long-time supporter, funder, adviser and volunteer for many philanthropic organizations that support U.S. veterans, education and medical research, according to a previous AC Self Storage press release. He’s also a volunteer and supporter of the Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation, a Montana-based charity that offers therapeutic recreational programs for injured U.S. veterans.AC Self Storage Solutions has offices in Carlsbad and Newport Beach, Calif., and operates 12 facilities in California, Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas.
- SF Gate: Senate Candidate Cited Over Purchase of Hunting License
- U.S. News & World Report: Storage Company CEO Files to Run Against Tester in 2018