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Should Christoffersen Withdraw From Race?

We would like to, first of all, say we appreciate the work that Janet Christoffersen performed as Roosevelt County Attorney. When the county needed someone to take over the position, she was willing to step up and help her native county. She got the office back on the right course during a challenging period.

However, we wonder if she should withdraw her candidacy for district judge. She filed for the position in early February for the office currently held by Judge David Cybulski, After conducting some research regarding the office, we discovered that an individual is not eligible to be elected a district judge in Montana unless the person has resided in the state for two years immediately before taking office.

Prior to taking over the county attorney position, Christoffersen was living and working in Utah. Currently, she is working in a county attorney’s office in Utah.

Although it’s possible that she might be able to argue that she kept residency in Montana during that time, she has regularly been living and sleeping in Utah and not in Roosevelt County or in Montana for that matter.

While Christoffersen is free to make the decision to remain in the race, we question whether she should.

If she emerges as the winner, it would again be up to a private citizen to file a legal complaint — sounds like shades of Downs vs. Piocos, doesn’t it? It’s doubtful that taxpayer-funded offices in the state such as the secretary of state, governor or attorney general would concern themselves with the matter based on the recent Piocos case. This newspaper remains disappointed in that practice by our elected officials.

Roosevelt County doesn’t need another lawsuit concerning the legal system.

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