Don't Be A Sheep

In the fabric of Montana's history, woven through the life stories of our people, is a simple yet profound wisdom: "Don't be a sheep". This is the legacy of my Basque heritage, a creed passed down from my father, who turned the rugged terrains of eastern Montana into a home for our family. It's this same spirit that now compels me to seek a seat on the Montana Supreme Court. I want to ensure that our judiciary reflects the strength, independence, and integrity of the state we all love.

My story is rooted deeply in Montana's soil. Raised by hard-working parents who taught me the value of education and resilience, I grew to understand the importance of upholding the unique rights our Montana Constitution provides; rights that enable families to rise from hardship to opportunity in a single generation. The land shapes us Montanans: we tackle tragedy with grit and celebrate life with fierce pride in our communities. We are driven, not by the herd mentality but by the pioneering spirit that creates our opportunities, lifting each other in the process.

This ethos was never more relevant than when my family faced the threat of losing our farm after my father's sudden death. Despite never missing a loan payment, the government deemed his passing as a default. As a young law school student, I fought this injustice, using my developing legal skills to protect our home and won. That victory was not just for my family but for every Montanan who has struggled against faceless bureaucracies. It affirmed my resolve to combat inequity and to serve justice.

As a District Court Judge for over two decades, I've presided over many hundreds of cases, each one reinforcing my belief in a judiciary that stands as a guardian of fairness and the rule of law. I have helped implement treatment courts to address substance abuse, while saving taxpayer money, and championed the rights of individuals; all reflecting my commitment to bettering the lives of those I serve.

Now, we stand at a pivotal moment where the rule of law is under duress, and the rights we cherish: privacy, education, public lands, and preservation of Montana's pristine landscape are at risk. My candidacy to serve on the Montana Supreme Court is a response to these unprecedented attacks on our democracy and Montana's judicial branch. With 38 years of legal and judicial experience, I am uniquely prepared to uphold the Constitution and to serve as a Justice for all Montanans.

As your Justice, I will not follow; I will lead with the same tenacity that saw my family through hardship. I will stand firm in the face of adversity, just as Montanans have always done. Please join me in this fight. Use your voice, your vote, and your influence to maintain Montana as the last best place, a state not of sheep, but of shepherds.

 

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