HELENA – One of Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s top deputies has entered the race to succeed Fox after his term ends.
Jon Bennion, the chief deputy attorney general, announced Thursday that he will run for attorney general as a Republican in 2020.
“I’m running for Attorney General because I care about our state and I want to continue fighting for it,” he said in a statement.
Bennion, a Billings native who now lives in Clancy, has worked at the Montana Department of Justice since 2013. Before that, he was the government relations director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce.
In his statement, Bennion highlighted his role in Fox’s efforts to oppose Obama administration proposals on coal and support pro-life laws and gun rights.
“Montana is a better place for having had a strong conservative in the Attorney General’s Office since 2013, and I will work to ensure that continues,” he said.
Bennion told MTN he wants to focus on issues like improving public safety, addressing drug abuse, and fighting what he called overreach by the federal government and other states.
He said Fox has been effective at addressing those issues, and he wants to continue that work.
“I think on day one, I know how the department is run, I know what needs to get done, and I think I’m going to have the right priorities as the next attorney general – continue a lot of the great things that General Fox has done, but also make sure that we’re ready to tackle the issues from 2020 and after,” Bennion said.
Fox is term-limited, and cannot run again for attorney general in 2020. He will instead run for governor.
Bennion is the first Republican to enter the 2020 race for attorney general. State Rep. Kimberly Dudik (D-Missoula) announced in December that she would run for the office.
-Jonathon Ambarian reporting for MTN News