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Sat May 18, 2024, 09:17 PM May 18

Montana AG Knudsen (R) said he recruited token primary opponent to increase fundraising [View all]

HELENA, Mont. — Montana's attorney general told supporters he skirted the state’s campaign finance laws by inviting another Republican to run against him as a token candidate in next month's primary so he could raise more money for the November general election, according to a recording from a fundraising event.

“I do technically have a primary," Attorney General Austin Knudsen said last week when asked at the event who was running against him. “However, he is a young man who I asked to run against me because our campaign laws are ridiculous."

Knudsen separately faces dozens of professional misconduct allegations from the state's office of attorney discipline as he seeks a second term. He made the comments about his primary opponent during the fundraiser on May 11 in Dillon, Montana, according to the recording obtained by the Daily Montanan, which is part of the nonprofit States Newsroom organization.

In the recording, Knudsen is heard saying that Logan Olson “filed to run against me simply because under our current campaign finance laws in Montana, it allows me to raise more money. So, he supports me and he’s going to vote for me.”

Under state law, a person cannot pay or “promise valuable consideration” to another person to induce them to be a candidate, or to withdraw as a candidate.


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