A handful of candidates have recently filed for statewide office including a Bozeman Democrat running for the Attorney General’s Office, three new congressional candidates in the eastern district and a candidate for Secretary of State.
Bozeman attorney Ben Alke recently filed to run as a Democrat for the Attorney General’s Office. According to his website, he mainly practices commercial litigation. Alke is licensed to practice in both Montana and Oregon and previously clerked for then-Justice Brian Morris, now chief federal judge in Great Falls, when he served on the Montana Supreme Court.
Republicans put out a release critiquing Alke’s work history, including working for the ACLU, as well as his million dollar home in Bozeman and his father’s work as a lobbyist.
Current Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican, has not filed as of Friday, but can still run again as he is not termed out. Knudsen’s office did not respond late Friday afternoon to a question about whether he intends to file.
Eastern Montana congressional races
Ric Holden and Joel Krautter, two former legislators from Glendive and Sidney respectively, recently filed to run in Montana’s eastern congressional district as Republicans. Both candidates said they would launch campaigns if current U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale chooses to not to seek re-election, according to Lee Enterprises.
According to a Thursday press release, Holden served in the state senate for eight years before terming out before a 2002 special legislative session.
Holden attended Montana State University in Bozeman, served in the U.S. Air Force and has been a member of the National Rifle Association since high school, according to the release. He said he would be bringing agricultural experience to the job as a rancher and critiqued President Joe Biden’s energy policies.
Krautter served in the state House in 2019 and was the primary sponsor for four bills signed into law, including amending oil and gas taxation laws that brought more revenue from oil and gas to eastern Montana, according to reporting from the Roundup. Krautter represented plaintiffs fighting Montana’s vaccine discrimination law, ultimately found unconstitutional by a federal judge last year.
Krautter has filed with the Federal Elections Commission, as has Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, who has also said she would run if Rosendale choses instead to run for Senate.
Former pharmaceuticals salesman Ming Cabrera has also filed with the FEC as a Democrat, running against Helena’s Kevin Hamm in the primary. Cabrera told Lee Enterprises he would use his industry experience to improve Medicare’s bargaining power over prescription drug prices.
Secretary of State
Last month, Deer Lodge Democrat Jesse Mullen announced he is running for Secretary of State. He owns the Mullen Newspaper Company and on his campaign website says his platform is in part based on job creation, access to public lands and election integrity.
Current Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, a Republican, can file to run again but hasn’t as of Friday, according to the Commissioner of Political Practices website.
A spokesperson from her office said Friday that Jacobsen is honored to serve Montanans: “At the right time, I’m sure she will share her vision for the future with Montanans. “