"I am committed to making Montana's communities safer, protecting children from abuse, and ending the cycle of criminal justice involvement.
I look forward to continuing to work to make Montana safer for everyone."
EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS
Attorney Kimberly Dudik is serving her fourth consecutive term in the Montana House of Representatives. Since 2013, she has championed legislation and initiatives that reform public safety, guard communities from sex offenders, safeguard vulnerable populations (especially children), and improve criminal justice. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General, a Deputy County Attorney, and a Montana Supreme Court law clerk. Her focus is improving public safety, protecting Montana citizens, and making communities safer. Kimberly has a proven record of working to ensure equal rights for all Montanans, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity. She is committed to working with Montana's tribal nations to build strong partnerships.
MONTANA BORN AND RAISED
Kimberly Dudik was born in Montana and grew up in the Frenchtown, Montana, area. She attended high school at Frenchtown High School. After graduation, Dudik attended Montana State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Dudik practiced as a registered nurse, eventually specializing as a neonatal intensive care nurse. She volunteered to help families escape violent situations as a domestic violence advocate. The positive impact she made as a domestic violence advocate and the needs she saw in her community inspired her to further her education by attending the University of Montana School of Law. She later studied at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, focusing on how policies can improve the health of large populations and protect children from sexual abuse.
Improving Montana’s future is a driving force for Dudik. She is married and has four children, raising them to enjoy the Montana outdoors and traditions she values. Dudik is reported to have made history as the first sitting Montana legislator to give birth to a child during a legislative session, giving birth on Thursday and returning to the House floor on Monday.
READY TO SERVE AS ATTORNEY GENERAL
After law school, Dudik first worked as a law clerk at the Montana Supreme Court, drafting Supreme Court legal opinions. She then pursued a career enforcing Montana’s laws as a Deputy Gallatin County Attorney. She prosecuted misdemeanors, felonies, and protected children from abuse. Dudik served Montana as an Assistant Attorney General where she focused on enforcing Montana’s laws to protect children in abusive home situations at a statewide level. Through her work enforcing Montana’s laws as a Deputy County Attorney and Assistant Attorney General, Dudik saw the need to change Montana’s laws so that they worked better to protect Montana citizens and keep communities safe. At that time, Dudik decided to enter public service as a legislator and was elected to the Montana House of Representatives.
While serving in Montana’s citizen legislature, Dudik also practices as an attorney in private practice, fighting to protect Montana citizens. She focuses on what matters to her most: protecting citizens’ rights, ensuring justice for victims of crime, upholding children’s rights, and strengthening Montana’s families. She is a member of the Montana State Bar, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and is a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist certified through the National Association of Counsel for Children.
SERVING THE PEOPLE OF MONTANA
As a State Representative, promoting public safety is a priority for Dudik. Dudik spearheaded efforts to reform and improve criminal justice and indigent defense in Montana. Dudik chaired the Task Force on State Public Defender Operations, leading bipartisan efforts to transform the state’s public defender system. Dudik led efforts to create an innovative program within the Office of State Public Defender to provide wraparound services to criminal offenders to combat the underlying causes of criminal behavior. This is thought to be the first state-funded program addressing root causes of criminal behavior in this way in the nation. She protected Montana’s children by successfully sponsoring the Bully Free Montana Act, ending Montana’s dubious distinction as the only state in the nation to not have a statewide law regarding school bullying. She championed legislation that protected children from identity theft, held sexual offenders accountable, improved community safety, and improved Montana’s criminal justice system. Trying to prevent child sexual abuse, Dudik changed the focus of Montana’s sexual abuse laws to focus on true prevention of child sexual abuse, permitting the arrest and prosecution of individuals for “grooming” of children prior to sexual abuse. Dudik worked with the Attorney General’s Office to focus on human trafficking and reform Montana’s human trafficking laws to provide better protections to victims and hold offenders accountable.
Dudik is a proven champion for Montanans. She is the Montana Legislature's foremost champion for children's rights and protecting children from abuse. She headed efforts to reform child welfare and counteract the rising number of children abused in Montana. Her work with her colleagues has made an impact by, among other things, developing an innovative program improving the ability of child protection workers to strengthen families and protect children at risk of abuse. Dudik took a strong stand to hold organizations accountable for refusing to pay their taxes and passing this financial burden along to local communities. This bipartisan tax reform enabled the speedy collection of nearly $1 million in delinquent taxes for one county. Dudik also passed policy to help Montana families financially by improving the collection of child support.
Dudik is a fiscal leader in the public safety sector, serving on the Appropriations Committee; the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Judicial Branch, Law Enforcement, and Justice; as Vice-Chair of the Rules Committee; and as Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee. Dudik served as Vice-Chair for the Council of State Governments West Public Safety Committee, working regionally with western states to identify and implement best practices in public safety.
Dudik dedicates additional efforts to improving public safety and economic growth in Montana. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, a statewide manufacturing outreach and assistance center helping manufacturers succeed by assessing their operations and providing insight and solutions to help them grow and innovate. She is a member of the Montana Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Committee, working to ensure access to the court system and justice for all Montanans. Dudik collaboratively reformed public policy regarding handling of sexual assault kits by serving on the Attorney General’s Untested Sexual Assault Kit Task Force. Dudik uses her expertise in child protection to improve the child welfare system through her participation on the Montana Supreme Court Court Improvement Program Advisory Committee.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP
Dudik is committed to her community and is active in community service. She serves on the Western Montana Community Ministry Board of St. Patrick Hospital and chairs the Mission and Community Needs Committee. Through this work she focuses efforts on identifying community needs and implementing and funding programs to address these needs. Aware that growing the next generation of leaders is essential to a productive democracy, Dudik worked with the University of Montana and the Center for American Women and Politics to develop the nonpartisan college women’s leadership program, Montana NEW Leadership.
Dudik is driven to improve community safety and fulfill unmet needs, especially those involving children. She is the founder of the Montana Anti-Trafficking Project, one of the first organizations in Montana to focus on educating the public about human trafficking. Dudik also saw the need to improve community awareness of and the ability to protect children from sexual abuse so she worked with other community and law enforcement leaders to establish the Missoula County Sexual Assault Prevention Team.
Dudik has arisen as a national leader for Montana, proudly championing Montana values. Dudik is the first Montana legislator to serve as the Chair for the National Foundation for Women Legislators, focusing policy on human trafficking issues, criminal justice reform, and workforce development - especially as it affects individuals coming out of the corrections system. Dudik helps shape legislative policy in the West by serving as only the second Montana legislator to be Chair of the Council of State Governments West, giving Montana a strong voice on important regional policy issues and bringing the annual conference to Montana for the first time in history, allowing Montana an opportunity to shine.
Dudik’s ability to work in a bipartisan manner, bridging party divides for the common good, is a hallmark of her public policy work. During her legislative tenure, Dudik received the 2013 New Leaders Council 40 Under 40 Award for Political Leadership and a 2015 Elected Women of Excellence Award for strong leadership improving public policy. In 2017, her bipartisan efforts serving Montanans led to her being noted as one of the most successful legislators, passing laws in Montana with strong, nearly complete, bipartisan support. In 2018, Dudik was the only legislator nationally honored as a finalist for a Civvys Award in the Political category because of her collaborative, high-impact political and social leadership leading to lasting change.