When Steve Bullock decided to run for governor, he had to pass up his opportunity to run for re-election as Montana state attorney general. Since there is no obvious successor to this state office, second in influence only to the governor's office, four lawyer candidates from around the state — two Democrats and two Republicans — are running for the nomination. Maybe, we should exempt one of these candidates because one Republican member of the Montana House of Representatives running for the job seems to be doing little campaigning.
The two Democratic candidates, Pam Bucy and Jesse Laslovich, are quite different in background and in the areas of their legal practice. Both are graduates of the University of Montana Law School in Missoula.
Laslovich started in politics immediately after he graduated, becoming the second youngest person ever elected to the state House.
After four years in the House, Laslovich went on to the Senate and served as assistant Democratic leader. Presently, he is chief legal counsel to Montana's commissioner of securities and insurance. In his campaign platform he emphasizes consumer protection, an embezzlement registry and vigorous prosecution of sexual predators.
In many ways Laslovich's opposite, Bucy has not held nor sought elective office previously. More oriented to representing individuals in the labor force than Laslovich, Bucy is the administrative counsel in the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Bucy has a much broader and more extensive educational background than her opponent. She emphasizes safety of individuals and families in her campaign and vows to seek a registry for violent and sexual offenders, and crack down on domestic abuse and drunken driving, noting she will work to protect credit and identity information particularly for the elderly. She handled hundreds of cases as a deputy county attorney and advocate before the Montana Supreme Court.
Tim Fox, one Republican candidate, is also in the Montana Senate and has a wide practice in business and corporate law. In his campaign he emphasizes that he will work for the logging industry in the state and try to develop more natural resource jobs.
Fox has a particular background in banking, serving as a bank counsel and vice president as well as on the Montana Banking Board, appointed by Gov. Judy Martz. After practicing law in Billings, he is presently working for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
Jim Shockley, also a Montana legislator and senator, is Fox's Republican primary opponent. So far, he has said very little concerning what he would do if elected attorney general.
For myself, I am thoroughly convinced that a new approach to the office of attorney general by a nonpolitician would be very significant and refreshing change. Pam Bucy speaks most strongly for the rights of individual citizens in the state. My vote goes to her.