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Morrison, a former state auditor, drops his Supreme Court campaign and supports Lynch



Helena, Montana – Former State Auditor John Morrison is officially withdrawing from the contest and backing a different candidate, three weeks after formally announcing his bid to become chief judge of the Montana Supreme Court.

Morrison added that Jerry Lynch, a former federal magistrate judge, shared his dedication to upholding the Montana Constitution and the state judicial branch in a message posted on his campaign’s Facebook page.

“I do not want to waste resources or create divisions that could undermine our shared commitment to uphold Constitutional freedoms, Court access, and the Rule of Law in this critical time,” Morrison said. “I am afraid that continuing this campaign in the months ahead could potentially do that.”

Helena-based attorney Morrison was twice elected as the Democratic candidate for state auditor of Montana. He said in his statement that he had met Lynch at a recent gathering and was struck by how well he could express the principles they both held dear. He asked his followers to make any contributions they could to Lynch’s campaign.

“As for me, I will continue as a lawyer to fight to protect the independence and integrity of our Courts and Constitution and to seek Justice for the people of our state and country,” Morrison said.

Morrison was thanked by Lynch in a statement.

“Protecting the integrity, independence, and impartiality of Montana’s judicial branch and the Montana Supreme Court is my top priority,” he said. “My campaign is earning support from people throughout the State of Montana from all walks of life and professions because I am focused on protecting our Constitution, not partisan politics or a personal agenda. I welcome the support of John Morrison and that of all Montanans who care about the future of our great state.”

Since incumbent Mike McGrath is not seeking reelection in 2024, the chief justice post will be vacant. Lynch is the only contender for the seat who has officially announced as of yet, but others will probably enter the contest.

The office of associate justice will also be vacant in 2019 since Justice Dirk Sandefur has decided not to run for reelection. Dan Wilson and Katherine Bidegaray, both state district judges, have declared their intentions to run for that position.



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