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It is election season once again. I write to provide a strong endorsement of Deborah "Kim" Christopher, who is running for re-election as district judge for Lake and Sanders Counties. Judge Christopher deserves your vote. 

I have known Judge Christopher for 35 years. We ware law school classmates at the University of Montana. She distinguished herself as a student. she distinguished herself thereafter with military service in the United States Army as a Judge Advocate General, and she has continued to distinguish herself first as the Lake Count/Attorney and then as a district court judge. 

Judge Christopher grew up in Polson, where she has made her home for more than 50 years. She understands well the unique circumstances of the constituents in the area, and she works hard to bridge the gaps between different cultures and the people who appear before her. She obviously has done well in the position as she has been re-elected three times since becoming a judge in 2001. 

Judge Christopher has worked tirelessly for the people of Lake and Sanders Counties for many years, first as a prosecutor and then as a judge. She works hard on every case. small or large, civil or criminal, and she endeavors to provide equal handed justice to all who appear before her. She makes the difficult decisions when called upon to do so, and she does so with confidence and grace, but without arrogance. 

I have appeared in her Court many times, on behalf of both Plaintiffs and Defendants in civil cases. I and my clients have always been fairly and evenly treated, and I say that even with respect to those instances where she has ruled against my client. She demands civil discourse and conduct in her courtroom, and she commands the respect of those who appear before her, Those are wonderful qualities in this day and age. 

The people of Lake and Sanders Counties should be proud of Judge Christopher as a district court judge, and a fine person. Not only do I call her Judge, I count her as a friend. I urge you to give her your vote.

— John E. Bohyer (Attorney)

It is with great pleasure and pride that I write you this letter endorsing you as Judge for the 20th Judicial District. As your former law clerk from 2011 to 2012, I had the pleasure of working with you in a professional, legal context and can think of no better person than you to continue to serve in your position as District Court Judge. 

During my year as your clerk, I watched you preside over matters with caring and capacity like no other judge. With the law as your guide, you were both reflective and compassionate. Every case mattered, from multi-million dollar law suits to family law, criminal homicides to misdemeanor matters; you always gave every case the respect and time it required. I was always confident in your ability and strength as a judge and public servant. As a fellow veteran, I knew I could count on your attention to detail and dependability to make the right decision, even if it was not the popular one. 

You are the best and most qualified choice for the 20th Judicial District Court. I know that you will continue to serve the people of Lake and Sanders County with dignity and respect.

— Laura Buchholtz (Attorney)

This Letter to the Editor is sent to the residents of Lake and Sanders County. It is to endorse District Judge Deborah Kim Christopher in her re-election bid to continue as your District Judge in the ensuing years. Over my career I have strongly resisted writing an endorsement regarding any candidate and their candidacy for public office. Now that I’m fully retired from public service, I feel it is fine to do so.

It is indeed an honor and privilege to write this endorsement letter on behalf of Judge Christopher. Any citizen who has lived in Lake County for any length of time knows Judge Christopher and the positive contributions to the citizenry she has made over her many years of public service.

Earlier in her career, she served in the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) for the United States Army as she served her country. Judge Christopher has been involved for years in the legal system both as a defense attorney and more so as a prosecutor and was elected for two terms to the position of Lake County Attorney. She brought to all of these positions, honesty, integrity, common sense, excellent communications and the maturity necessary to hold these positions.

I have known Judge Christopher for decades and although living and working in Missoula County for most of my life our paths crossed on more than one occasion regarding legal matters and cases in her then position of a prosecutor. She was always eager to assist us and our department in cases being investigated jointly by both counties. As the former Police Chief in Polson I saw on a near daily basis the many strengths she possessed and her abilities to bring a decorum into the courtroom that brought dignity to the bench. She did not shy away from the toughest cases. She does the same as a district judge. Something I greatly admire and appreciate.

Judge Christopher has repeatedly shown the qualities so necessary to being one of two District Judges that serve in both Lake and Sanders Counties. Therefore, I encourage the voters of these counties to retain this outstanding person by voting on Election Day for District Judge Deborah Kim Christopher.

— Doug Chase

It seems to me that many of the people in Lake and Sanders counties haven't had the opportunity to meet my mother, Kim Christopher, outside of her position as District Court Judge. They end up seeing the big scary judge that sits high up on that bench with the giant black robe seemingly billowing out behind her. That person is only half of my mom, that person is “Judge Christopher” an officer of the court and a person charged with upholding the law. The person I've grown up looking up to is warm, loving, and if you ask her, even funny.
I’ve never known a person to love me more than my mother, I’m sure most people can say that though, but with my mom its different than I’ve seen with some of my friends. My mom has always respected my opinion, even when I was little, she always gave us the opportunity to argue our opinion or reasoning and then would explain what she found wrong with what we did and why we shouldn’t do whatever we were doing. Rarely was I ever correct in my line of thinking but my mom loves to tell the story of when I was little, around three or four years old. She asked me to do something and I wheeled around, looked her right in the eyes and said with all the attitude my little body could muster, “Mom, do I look like an adult?” needless to say she was a little taken aback and replied, “No honey, I guess you don’t.”
I look up to and aspire to be like my mom every single day. She is definitely one of my personal heros. I’ve seen the way she operates in the Courtroom and I know how she operates in her personal life, and believe me, not a single person in the world could care about each and every person the way my mom does. Every individual matters to my mom, all people are equal in her eyes.
The law means everything to my mom. She has dedicated her life to the law as she believes it is the best way for her to serve her country and give back to the community she cherishes. She always puts herself last and focuses on the needs and wants of others before even considering herself.
Kim Christopher is an incredible judge, an even better mother, and someone I consider my best friend. I ask that the people of Lake and Sanders counties reelect my mom, Kim Christopher, on November 6th and let her continue to serve and protect the communities she loves dearly.

— Remington Christopher

As chief of the Attorney General's special prosecutions unit for 20 years, I had the opportunity to work with Judge Christopher while she served as a prosecutor in the Cascade County and as elected county attorney in Lake County. I also appeared before her court on several significant matters. Judge Christopher is intelligent, courageous and compassionate. She is one of most experienced judges in the state. I believe the 20th Judicial District could do no better than to retain Judge Christopher on the bench. — John Connor (Attorney)

During my 25-year tenure as state medical examiner I had the privilege of working with then Lake County Attorney Christopher. Kim was an exceptional prosecutor, literally going the extra mile on several occasions, making the trip to Missoula when a death was suspicious and there was a possibility criminal charges would result. No matter how horrific the circumstances, in the interest of justice, not curiosity, Kim wanted to have the best understanding of the facts possible-first hand, unfiltered. The same attributes that made a good prosecutor make a good judge. The citizens of the 20th district have been most fortunate. May that continue to be the case. Gary Dale — Gary Dale

In my 41 years of practice I have seen poor judges, good judges and a few great ones. This is a great one. Please give her your vote. — Rich DeJana

It is a privilege and an honor to be giving an endorsement for the re-election of Judge Kim Christopher. I have known Judge Christopher for many years, which dates back to our college time. I have worked with her in the same courtroom when I was the court stenographer and she the county attorney for Lake County. She holds the utmost professionalism in the courtroom, and is passionate about serving her community. Since her growing up here, she has seen and been involved with the many changes in Lake County. She truly has an understanding and feel for this area. She is a fair and impartial judge, who is an amazing and wonderful mom as well! I would ask that you please take the time to vote for Judge Kim Christopher this next election. She has served us in Lake County well, and is the most qualified person in the 20th Judicial District Court to serve as our Lake County Judge, once again!. — Pam Lytton

Experience matters.  Judge Kim Christopher has a proven track record of providing firm but fair justice.  I have known Kim as an adversary and colleague. We tried cases against each other when we were young lawyers and were then sworn in as judges at the same time and worked in our own districts for years.  Being a District Court Judge is a difficult and often thankless job.  If you do it correctly you will make legally correct, but politically unpopular decisions.  It takes courage and moral commitment to do the right thing when you know you will pay for it in the court of popular opinion. Judge Christopher has proven that she will do just that.  Her years of experience are invaluable and necessary to the people of Lake County.  Please vote to retain Judge Kim Christopher.

— Julie Macek, District Judge (Ret.)

For 20 years the citizens of Gallatin County gave me the privilege to serve as District Court Judge in Bozeman.  Before I was elected to the bench I was the Gallatin County Attorney for 14 years.  In 1995 I met Kim Christopher, who at that time was the Lake County Attorney. In 1997 I began serving as District Court Judge and my contact with Judge Christopher ceased until she was elected in 2000 to serve as District Court Judge for the 20th Judicial District (Lake and Sanders Counties). I then resumed having contact with Judge Christopher, who is seeking re-election for her fourth term on the bench. At the end of 2016 I retired after serving 20 years as a District Court Judge.

For the 15 years that I served as a Judge during her term, I came to know Judge Christopher very well.  I have had many conversations with her, have read some of her legal opinions and have served with her on the executive committee of the Montana Judges’ Association.  When I was President of the Montana Judges’ Association she was Vice-President.  We had many occasions to discuss the business of the Association.  Judge Christopher was tremendously helpful to assist me with my duties as President.

Judge Christopher has proven that she is fair and impartial.  She has shown that she is extremely experienced to preside over complex criminal and civil cases, among the hundreds of domestic, other criminal and civil and general cases.  Judge Christopher believes in the rule of law.  She has proven her ability to adhere to the fundamental principle that a judge shall not make decisions based on any political ideology, public persuasion or personal interests.  She has served as an independent and dedicated judge and administrator of the operation of the Court.  In addition, she has made tireless contributions to the welfare of the Montana judiciary by advocating for education for newly elected or appointed judges.

Judge Christopher has served the citizens of the 20th Judicial District with distinction, integrity, and hard work.  In this election, EXPERIENCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! And, Judge Christopher has the necessary experience to continue with the busy case load of the Court.  Although, I am not a resident of the 20th Judicial District, I know that your decision to re-elect Judge Christopher will be in your best interests.  — Mike Salvagni, District Judge (Ret.)

Please join me in voting to re-elect Judge Kim Christopher. In my various capacities as a Montana Supreme Court Justice, State District Judge in Great Falls/Cascade County, and as a Deputy Cascade County Attorney, I have known and observed Judge Christopher for over 20 years in her various capacities as a State District Judge in Polson, Lake County Attorney, and Deputy Cascade County Attorney. Kim is a highly dedicated judge who has served the citizens of Lake County and the State of Montana in an exemplary fashion, always with the utmost personal and professional integrity, fairness, and professionalism Kim has always endeavored to do the right thing, for the right reason without regard for public criticism, even when the right thing under the law may not be popular. Kim's experience and proven track record speak for themselves. Dirk M. Sandefur, Associate Justice Montana Supreme Court — DIRK SANDEFUR

I truly have not met many people with the integrity that Kim has. She is BY FAR (and then some) the most qualified candidate. Thank you for your 18 years of service. ♥️ — Michelle Shizuku

I support Kim Christopher for reelection to the post of District Court Judge and I will tell you why. In our current world of prosecution through politics while ignoring the rule of law, we need to stick with the basics, and to stick with someone whose record of accomplishment and experience shall continue in allowing us all to feel safe, trustful, and comfortable in our Courts. Judge Christophers impartial, and thorough application of the law is exemplary. All the while displaying compassion toward the needs of the parties where warranted and necessary to avoid creating dysfunction with families. We all depend on the courts in so many ways, and the respect and impartiality displayed by Judge Christopher in her application of the law and how she consistently holds herself to the highest personal and ethical standards is why I feel that respect and trust for her and the manner in which she conducts her duties. It takes experience, a proven record of accomplishment, and unconditional commitment to the post of District Court Judge and Kim Christopher has all these traits and maintains them well. As a former Chief Judge, Court administrator and Chief of Police, I support Kim Christopher for District Court Judge; let’s vote for continued quality service. Jim Steele Sr. Polson — Jim Steele

I wholeheartedly support the re-election of Judge Deborah Kim Christopher as District Judge in the 20th Judicial District. I first met Judge Christopher in March 2001 shortly after we both took office as district judges. We were both in a two-week intensive class for new judges at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

Throughout the years I have had the privilege to observe and work with Judge Christopher. Twice a year at our Judge's conferences, Judge Christopher is an active participant. She established and has continued to update a bench book to assist new judges. Judge Christopher testified at the legislature with me. She has served on the board and is a president of the Montana Judge's Association.

Judge Christopher is a Polson native. She has ably served our country as an Army Judge Advocate General attorney. She is a former Lake County attorney. I know Judge Christopher is a hard worker who conscientiously decides all her cases. She has presided over extremely complex matters and is very well respected among her colleagues. All the people of the 20th Judicial District will benefit from the re-election of Judge Christopher.

— Gregrory R. Todd, District Judge

I am not a resident of Montana, but I feel so strongly in my convictions regarding Deborah "Kim" Christopher, that I am compelled to write this letter in support of Judge Christopher's re-election to your District Court bench. It is my privilege and honor to support her re-election. 

I am a North Carolina attorney in private practice, but almost 30 years ago, I was an Army officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps ("JAG"). The son of a career U.S. Air Force Officer and a graduate of The Citadel, I first met Judge Christopher through a letter she sent me in her capacity as my sponsor at Fort Lewis, WA, my first duty station. After a somewhat lengthy initial telephone conversation, I not only developed a respect for Kim, the person and not "CPT Christopher," but it began a friendship that endures to this day and I am not ashamed to say that I am a better person for it. 

I have known Kim for almost 30 years and although we have not seen each other since I passed through Big Sky country on my way to a new assignment in January 1992, Judge Christopher remains the same reliable, "rock steady," and devoted family woman that she was when I first met her. As a young prosecutor, Judge Christopher served as both my official and unofficial mentor during my transition into the courtroom. She is the consummate professional and a natural born leader. A straight shooter, Kim did not hesitate to praise my efforts or when appropriate, criticize them. I've followed Judge Christopher's judicial career from afar, but she has not changed in that she always displays the highest levels of integrity, good character, and most importantly, good judgment - qualities that are not easily replaced by a "fresh face." Judge Christopher's calm demeanor and practical approach to dealing worth legal issues have served the citizens of the 20" Judicial District well and I urge you to return her to the bench you will not regret your decision to do so. 

Again, I wholeheartedly and without reservation, urge you to return Judge Christopher to the bench as your District Court Judge!

— Joseph J. Vonnegut (Attorney)

Having practiced regularly before you in Polson and Thompson Falls for over 2-1/2 years before I transferred to Missoula, I have the greatest respect for your knowledge of the law, of your efforts to apply that law fairly and judiciously, and most important, your ability to acknowledge and protect the rights of those who appear in your courtroom without sacrificing your compassion and humanity. You have provided a great service to your constituents in Lake and Sanders Counties for the last 18 years, and I have no doubt that you not only the best qualified to continue that service, but the only choice for District Judge.  

— Leta J. Womack (Attorney)
Brittney (Gardener) Cathey
Bruce Agrella
Dennis and Nila Anderson
Mark & Jan Andrews
Gene & Dralin Arnold
Larry and Dorothy Ashcraft
Richard & Carol Banghart
William D. Barron, Lake Co. Commissioner
Monte D. Beck (Attorney)
Katherine Bidegaray, District Judge
Marshall & Betty Bjork
Dalton Bradford
William Brownell
Dan Buchholtz
Jamie and Shelly Buhr
Marjorie Burgan
J. Martin Burke, Ret. Dean and Professor, U of M Law School
Shawn and Laura Burland
Brian & Tricia Campbell
Dick & Lori Chase
Courtney & Renee Christopher
Isaac Christopher
Jeff & Julie Christopher
Richard Christopher
Tiara L. Christopher Knowles
David & Barbara Coffman
Connie Costanza
Jack & Diane Cummings
Katherine "Kitty" Curtis, District Judge (Ret.)
Evan F. Danno (Attorney)
Ray Dayton, District Judge
Nick & Karen Dellewo
Patricia DeVries
Kent Duckworth (Attorney)
Kiel E. Duckworth (Attorney)
Bill Dupuis
Gary and Becky DUPUIS
Bob & Peggy Edgar
Lonnie, LeeAnn & Logan Erickson
Rich Forbis
Bob &Sharon Fulton
Martin Glassen
Philip J. Grainey (Attorney)
Gordon and Audrey Granley
Scott Gratton (Attorney)
Michael Gulledge
Charles & Myrna Hall
Tom & Terry Harris
James A. Haynes, District Judge
Caroline Heinz
Ed & Jil Hendrix
Greg Hertz (MT. Rep.)
Lloyd Irvine
Nick & Lisa Janeway
Chuck and Penny Jarecki
Jake & Elaina Jennison
Jeff & Erika Jennison
Mary Jensen
James A. Rice, Supreme Court Justice
Dick Erb and Joanna Shelton-Erb
Norman Johnson
Shauna Johnson
Dirk Sandefur, Supreme Court Justice
Gary Kalkstein (Attorney)
John & Patty Kelly
Scott and Bonnie Kiser
Sue Kline
COL Justin L. Knowles, MD
Kurt Krueger, District Judge
Jackie Ladner
Brooks LaGru, Col (Ret.)
Jeffrey H. Langton, District Judge
John W. Larson, District Judge
Nate and Moriah Lundeen
Helena S. Maclay (Attorney)
Richard Mann, Col (Ret.)
Lou Marchello
Sheila, Nicholas, Martina, Vernoica & John Marquardt
Keith W. McCurdy (Attorney)
Mark McDonald
Mike McMeekin
Ann Marie McNeel
Joann McNeil
Maria McNeil Williams
Chuck McNeil, (Ret. Attorney)
John A. Mercer (Attorney)
Barbara Monaco
Mouri & Barbara Morin
Carmine Mowbray
Chase Murrin
Ted & Orrine Murrin
Wade Nash, Polson Chief of Police
Madeleine O'Halloran
Don & Mary Patterson
Juan Perez
Jerry & Phyllis Peterson
Steve Pickel
Judy Preston
Diane Richard
Brett Richardson
Robert Ricketts
Chuck and Jean Rigg
Jil Roberts
Guy W. Rogers (Attorney)
Tim Ryan Rouillier
Sid & Lynette Rundell
Scott Sciaretta
Duncan Scott (Attorney)
James Shea (MT. Supreme Court Justice)
Kyo Shizuku
Jim & Joanne Simpson
Lisa Skalsky
Roy & Nancy Souder
Jim Steele, Sr.
Timothy B. Strauch (Attorney)
Laurie McKinnon, Supreme Court Justice
Mac Swan
Loren Tucker, District Judge (Ret.)
Lloyd & Geri Turnage
Sika Ulutoa
Keith & Sue Urbach
Shane A. Vannatta (Attorney)
Michael A. Viscomi (Attorney)
Chuck Wall (Attorney)
Isaiah & Kiana Williams
Mark S. Williams (Attorney)
William P. Williams, IV (Attorney)
Gary and Margie Wright
Mitchell A. Young (Attorney)

Citizens to Re-Elect Hon. Deborah "Kim" Christopher. Todd A. Bassett, Treasurer
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