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Bozeman attorney Alke running for attorney general as Democrat



Helena, Montana – An attorney from Bozeman has declared his candidacy to oppose Austin Knudsen, the attorney general of Montana.

This week marks the official opening of Democratic candidate Ben Alke’s campaign. He said that Knudsen had “politicized” the attorney general’s office, which was why he made the decision to run for the job.

“I thought it was important to restore the integrity and credibility of the Montana Department of Justice,” he said.

Alke listed other particular measures taken by Knudsen’s office, such as their interference in a local prosecution in Lewis and Clark County and their involvement in a dispute over treatment between St. Peter’s Health and a patient’s family. Additionally, he took issue with Knudsen’s remarks, seeing them as assaults on the Montana courts.

“The broad message is there are certain things that are too important to be political, and we have a decision to make as citizens and Montanans: Do we care more about principles like justice and truth, or do we care more about labels?” Alke said. “Do we want to work together to get things done? Or do we want to call each other names and try to drive each other apart?”

Alke, a native of Helena, is a partner in Crist, Krogh, Alke & Nord, a law company in Bozeman. He worked as a law clerk for former Montana Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris before to entering private practice. He said that while he has tried a wide range of cases for both individuals and companies, his areas of expertise have been in unfair commercial conduct, consumer protection, and public access.

The Montana Republican Party retaliated against Alke in a statement.

“Ben Alke is a millionaire trial attorney with deep ties to the liberal legal establishment that is out of touch with Montanans,” said party chair Don Kaltschmidt. “As Attorney General, Austin Knudsen has been holding criminals accountable, working with local law enforcement to keep Montana communities safe, and fighting back against the disastrous Biden agenda.”

A formal complaint filed earlier this month charged Knudsen with professional misconduct for the way he handled a disagreement involving the Montana Legislature and the state judiciary. A Knudsen representative questioned the timing of the complaint in a statement on it because it was made so close to the anticipated launch date of Alke’s campaign.

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