Austin Knudsen launches re-election campaign for Montana Attorney General
HELENA – Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today he will be running for re-election so that he can continue to fight drugs and crime in our communities, fight the disastrous Biden agenda that has harmed Montanans, and fight for Montanans’ freedoms and liberties.
As the head of the Montana Department of Justice, the state’s top legal and public safety agency that includes the Montana Highway Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation, and State Crime Lab, Attorney General Knudsen has led the charge in Montana against drugs and violent crime. The Attorney General’s Office has played a key role in national fights against the Biden administration’s overreaching mandates on energy and economic policies, failure to secure the border, and attacks on gun rights. Within Montana, his office has increased prosecutions of the worst criminals in the state.
“It’s been an honor to serve Montanans as their Attorney General. I ran in 2020 because as a county prosecutor, I saw firsthand the damage drugs and violent crime were doing to communities across the state, and how little was being done at the state level to turn the tide. We’ve made tremendous progress at the Department of Justice over the last three years increasing resources for law enforcement and strengthening laws to crack down on drugs, human trafficking, and sex offenders, but the fight isn’t over,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “President Biden has been a disaster for Montana. He has abdicated his duty to secure the border, allowing drugs to pour into our country, making the fight against crime in Montana more difficult. His administration and its allied anti-gun activists attack the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. And his energy policies are draining family budgets and making our nation less secure. It will take years to undo the harm he has done – but I’m committed to getting the job done for Montanans and humbly ask for their support to do so.”
Fighting Drugs and Crime in our Communities:
Attorney General Knudsen has been a stalwart advocate for law and order, working tirelessly to combat the rise of drugs and crime in Montana communities. His efforts have led to significant strides in ensuring the safety and well-being of Montanans, making him a trusted leader in the state’s fight against criminal activities.
Under the leadership of Attorney General Knudsen, the Montana Department of Justice has:
- Strengthened Montana’s human trafficking and sex offender laws by closing loopholes and enhancing penalties to protect survivors and lock up sex predators for longer prison sentences;
- Established mandatory minimum prison sentences for fentanyl distribution and created a penalty for up 100 years for dealers whose drugs kill another person;
- Made unprecedented resources available to local law enforcement agencies and county prosecutors including specialized prosecutors, additional narcotics and major case investigators, drug-detecting canines; and
- Secured a $2.1 million grant to eliminate the backlog of untested and partially tested sexual assault evidence kits collected from around the state and hire an investigator to bring unprosecuted rapists to justice;
- Increased prosecutions of the worst of the worst criminals: cop killers, child sex predators, murderers, and rapists.
“For years, the State ignored rising crime in our communities until Attorney General Knudsen took over the Montana Department of Justice,” Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said. “He has done an incredible job as attorney general getting resources out of Helena and into communities across Montana to help law enforcement agencies like mine keep our communities safe.”
“Attorney General Knudsen is an indispensable partner for rural counties in our fight against drugs and crime. He understands the pernicious threats facing Montanans and is working to provide tools and expertise that counties can’t muster on their own,” Meagher County Attorney Burt Hurwitz said. “Starting with himself, he has worked to create a Justice Department that is responsive and works to find solutions even when the answers are difficult and the resources are stretched thin.”
Fighting the Biden Administration:
In his first term, Attorney General Knudsen has become a national leader at the forefront of fighting President Biden’s policies that threaten Montanans’ safety and way of life. In less than three years, he has filed nearly three dozen lawsuits against the Biden administration relating to the border, gun rights, energy development, economic policies, and more.
Under Knudsen’s leadership, the Attorney General’s Office has:
- Filed 35 lawsuits against President Biden’s policies that harm Montanans;
- Fought to secure the border and stop the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico;
- Led on key energy issues to lower costs and create jobs;
- Protected tax cuts for Montanans from federal overreach;
- Stopped the Senate confirmation of an anti-gun Biden appointee and;
- Was a national leader forcing the Biden administration to end COVID vaccine and mask mandates.
“The Biden administration’s failed border policies have allowed fentanyl and other deadly drugs to proliferate into communities across the nation,” Stacy Zinn, former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Resident Agent in Charge for Montana, said. “As Attorney General, Austin has been effectively fighting on two fronts: Increasing law enforcement efforts to keep drugs off our streets and taking the Biden administration to court to secure our nation’s borders.”
“Since his first day in office, President Biden has been undermining the American energy industry. His policies have threatened Montanans’ jobs, increased costs for consumers, and harmed our ability to create affordable and reliable energy,” George Harris, executive director of the Montana Coal Council, said. “Attorney General Knudsen has been a national leader in fighting the Biden administration and standing up for Montana workers and families.”
Fighting for Montanans’ Rights and Freedom
Since his first days in office, Attorney General Knudsen has been fighting to ensure the rights guaranteed to Montanans in the Constitution are upheld. Unafraid to challenge the status quo, he has fought government overreach, taken on Big Banks and Big Tech, and become a national leader for Montanans’ parental rights and gun rights.
As Attorney General, Austin has:
- Launched multiple consumer protection investigations into Big Tech companies’ practices involving monopolistic practices and Montanans’ data privacy;
- Forced Gallatin County to drop its prosecution of a local business for alleged violations of unconstitutional COVID restrictions;
- Led several multi-state efforts to support parents’ rights against woke school officials hiding information about their children;
- Successfully advocated for expanded gun rights in Montana and around the nation; and
- Was the first Attorney General in the country to ban harmful and divisive critical race theory indoctrination.
“From his first days in office, Austin was at the forefront fighting for constitutional carry and other legislation to ensure the freedoms guaranteed to us by the U.S. and Montana constitution are not just upheld, but expanded,” Seth Berglee, former state representative and co-owner of a Montana firearms manufacturer, said. “With our right to keep and bear arms under constant attack by the Biden administration, woke corporations, the gun control rabble, and even foreign governments, it’s good to know we have Attorney General Knudsen fighting for our individual rights.”
As Attorney General, Knudsen has consistently demonstrated his dedication to upholding the rule of law and protecting the interests of the State of Montana and its citizens. His re-election campaign will focus on building upon these achievements, further strengthening Montana communities, and preserving the state’s cherished traditions and freedoms.