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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Jon Bennion Enters The Race For Montana Attorney General

Montana Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion.
Courtesy Bennion campaign

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s chief deputy has announced he plans to run for Fox’s seat in next year’s election.

Republican Jon Bennion has worked at the Montana Department of Justice for the past six years.
The 40-year-old Billings native says his tenure there gives him a distinct advantage in Montana’s 2020 Attorney General race.

"I’m managing the entire legal shop, which is really the largest law firm in the state. And we’ve got an incredible team that do a variety of different kinds of litigation."

Tim Fox, Montana’s current Attorney General is termed-out from running again and is seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year.

Bennion praises Fox for protecting Montana against various forms of legal overreach.

“Under President Obama’s administration we saw a number of things; whether it was the Waters of the U.S. rule or things on coal that really would have had a tremendous impact on Montana’s natural resource industry, on Montana’s agriculture community. Montana didn’t have a lot of input on the front end in those things, and so General Fox, myself and other AG’s banded together and tried to hold the federal government accountable when we felt like they were overstepping their bounds."

Montana Democrats also seem interested in guarding against federal overreach.

State Democratic Party Executive Director, Monica Lindeen, issued a statement Thursday saying, "It’s important a Democrat takes back the Attorney General’s office to protect the voices and wishes of Montanans when the federal government oversteps."

A coalition of at least 16 attorneys general are suing to block the Trump administration from declaring a national emergency to build a border wall. That lawsuit is brought almost entirely by states with democratic governors.

Again, Republican AG candidate Jon Bennion.

"Its relatively new on the challenge, and so we’re going to be taking a look at it, so stay tuned."

State Rep. Kimberly Dudik, a Missoula Democrat, announced her bid for attorney general in December.
Dudik was an assistant attorney general and deputy county attorney in Gallatin County.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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