Jesse Laslovich, candidate for Montana attorney general and native of Anaconda, said it was nice to be back in Havre in a different capacity during the Hill County Democratic Party’s Pasma-Peck Dinner.
“It’s great to be back in Blue Pony country as a candidate rather than as someone who played football in high school and got crunched every time we played Havre, ” Laslovich said.
Laslovich said he believes there are common bonds between his hometown and the Havre area, bonds which he thinks show why he would be the best attorney general.
“I think Havre’s a lot like Anaconda, hardworking people, union people; you can support those values by supporting me as your next attorney general, ” he said.
He said his experience, both in the Legislature and as a lawyer, make him the best candidate.
“You won’t find someone more hardworking with depth and breadth of experience that I have, ” Laslovich said.
Elected at age 19, the second-youngest legislator elected in the state, he said his experience in the Legislature, with six years as a state senator and four as a representative, will help with one of the key issues that faces the state attorney general.
“A big part of what the attorney general does is work with the Legislature and I know how to do it. I was in the trenches for 10 years … making difficult decisions on a variety of difficult issues, ” Laslovich said.
He said some of those issues included laws relating to the attorney general’s office, such as creating mental health courts and drug courts.
“I carried the legislation in the Legislature, and was proud to do it because it’s not just about sending people to prison, ” Laslovich said. “It’s sending the people who are predators … and those who can be rehabilitated, we rehabilitate them so they become productive members of our society. That’s what the office is about. ”
He said another part of the office is consumer protection, adding that he served as the lead consumer protection attorney under Attorney General Mike McGrath after the service was shifted to his office.
“I loved the work, ” Laslovich said, adding he was the only attorney working there on a full-time basis
“I kept saying, ‘We need more lawyers. We need more lawyers because the work is there, ’” he said. “One thing (Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate) Steve Bullock has done well is bring in more lawyers to the office. I think we can do more. ”
He said the office has had successes, such as in prosecuting a man who scammed people into sending money to help victims of Hurricane Katrina — “Now he’s going to prison, as he should, ” Laslovich said — and helping an elderly lady who lost $3,000, or helping residents of the Great Falls Eagles Manor who were overcharged on rent.
“They got their money back, ” Laslovich said. “That’s what consumer protection is about, and that’s why I want to be the attorney general, to make it a huge focus for the people of Montana. ”
He said he is running for attorney general because he wants to continue to serve.
“I love public service. I love helping people, ” Laslovich said. “I have done it ever since I was 19. I know how to do it. ”