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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

House Candidate Apologizes For False Endorsements Mailer

The mailer sent out last week, incorrect information was printed on the other side
Kimberly Dudik
The mailer sent out last week, incorrect information was printed on the other side

Matt Bell, a Democrat challenging three-term Montana House incumbent Kimberly Dudik is apologizing for making false statements in a mailer voters received last week.

“I’m really sorry, I’m really embarrassed that I let this happen,” Matt Bell says.

Matt Bell’s mailer claimed endorsements from Montana Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood and the state’s largest labor union. All statements were untrue.

“In Montana we take people at their word and we have to trust that what they say is true, and that’s not what we’re getting from my opponent and we need more from our politicians,” House District 94 Incumbent Kimberly Dudik says.

This afternoon, Bell posted an apology to Facebook, saying that the “misleading literature” was his responsibility.

He said the false endorsements were meant as “placeholders” in a draft and that he intended to revise the mailer but failed to do so.

For Dudik, Bell’s Facebook post did little to improve the situation.

“I have a hard time thinking this is rectified at all and that somebody like that, who is plainly misleading voters should be elected to office,” she says.

“I know we’re all looking for integrity in our elections and I let myself down and I let some of the voters down,” Matt Bell says.

Bell says he’s reached out to Dudik and other democratic leaders and offered his apology and an explanation.

He says he’s also publishing a letter in the Missoulian and looking into a follow up mailer.

The Associated Press reports that nearly a third of Montana’s absentee voters have already returned ballots ahead of next week’s primary.

Beau is a former Morning Edition host and producer and engineer for the MTPR program "Capitol Talk." He worked as a reporter, and hosted Freeforms once a month.
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