Montana Public Radio

Kimberly Dudik

Listen now on Campaign Beat: A state legislator stands by his calls for violence against 'socialists.' Montana's two senators split their votes on impeachment. Democrats running for governor are down to two candidates. The AG race has a new twist. And did Barack Obama urge Gov. Bullock to change his mind about a Senate run?

Raph Graybill is one of two candidates in the Democratic primary for the office of Montana attorney general.
Courtesy Raph Graybill

A former Montana legislator has accused a fellow Democrat of being ineligible for the office he’s campaigning for, alleging he hasn’t practiced law in the state for long enough to run for state attorney general. A two-way Democratic primary is underway for the job, pitting Missoula state Representative Kimberly Dudik against Raph Graybill, chief legal counsel to the Governor’s Office.

Candidates for statewide office in Montana’s 2020 election raised more than $1.4 million since the start of the year, most of that coming over the last three months. Candidates were required to file campaign finance reports by Friday.

Most of the early money coming in is taking sides in the contested Republican primary for governor.

Former State Rep. Austin Knudsen has announced his candidacy for Attorney General in the 2020 race.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Former Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen announced Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for Montana’s Attorney General race in 2020.

Knudsen served as a representative from Culbertson in the state Legislature from 2011 to 2017, serving as Speaker of the House during his last four years. He’s the second Republican to enter the Attorney General race.

In an effort to keep people from returning to jail and prison, the 2017 Montana Legislature approved $400,000 in funding for a pilot program to help former inmates find stable housing when they’re released.
(PD)

Misti Liberti had few available housing options when she was released from jail last fall. Liberti sometimes resorted to couchsurfing with acquaintances she knew before her jail sentence; a big  gamble for someone who has spent years battling chemical dependency.

"When I got out I was kind of at the mercy of staying with people, and you put yourself in a risky environment sometimes. You just go back to what’s familiar," she says.

Tim Fox has raised substantially more money than any other candidate running for a statewide office in Montana so far.

Campaign finance reports for the 2020 election filed Friday show Fox has raised nearly $204,000 since January 1. Fox, who is currently Montana’s attorney general, is running for governor.

Bill Aims To Protect Pregnant Women Seeking Addiction Treatment

Mar 19, 2019
Sen. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, is carrying Senate Bill 289, and says pregnant women are less likely to to seek treatment for addiction if there is a “threat of being charged with drug possession.”
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service


In 2017, the state Department of Public Health and Human Services reported that approximately 100 babies every year experience drug withdrawal in Montana.

Now, in an effort to lower that number, lawmakers are considering a bill to help pregnant women with addictions.

Senate Now Considers Bill To Eliminate Rubella Test For Marriage License

Feb 8, 2019
Rep. Kimberly Dudik is sponsoring a bill that would eliminate the state's requirement for women to get a premarital test for rubella before getting a marriage license. File photo.
Mike Albans

HELENA — A Missoula lawmaker says it’s time for the state to eliminate the requirement for women to get a premarital blood test for a disease that has not been seen in Montana for almost 30 years.

Bill Would Let Drug-Addicted Pregnant Women Get Treatment Without Prosecution

Feb 4, 2019
A baby clutches a parent's finger. Stock photo.
(PD)

Drug-addicted pregnant women could seek addiction treatment without the fear of prosecution or having their child taken away under a proposed bill in the Legislature.

Bills Seek To Revise Statute Of Limitations In Montana Sex Abuse Cases

Jan 16, 2019
Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, watches as 11 people testify in support of her House Bill 109 during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The proposed law removes the statute of limitations on child sex crimes.
Tim Pierce / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA — A slew of bills introduced in the Montana Legislature would revise the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

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