HELENA – Promising to fight “federal intrusion into Montana state sovereignty,” Helena lawyer Tim Fox filed his candidacy papers Thursday in the race for attorney general.

Before signing the papers and paying the filing fee to Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, the Republican said he believes the portion of the federal health care reform law that mandates individuals’ purchase of health coverage in unconstitutional and he would fight its implementation in Montana.

He also said he would defend gun rights and join with other states in battles with the federal government on constitutional matters.

“And that’s something that our attorney generals in recent years have just not paid attention to, they’ve been unwilling to get involved in,” said Fox, who announced his candidacy Feb. 6

He did not say directly if he agreed with the Montana Supreme Court in its recent decision defending Montana campaign laws in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision. The Montana court decision has been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court while an appeal moves forward.

“I am in favor of transparency in our elections, fair election, and wherever and whenever possible I will make sure that we have transparent and fair elections,” he said. “But the bottom line is that I’m going to protect and defend the Constitution.”

Fox, of Montana City, is a partner with Gough, Shanahan, Johnson and Waterman, a Helena law firm. He has worked with the state, in a solo practice and in a wide range of legal areas.

He faces veteran legislator Jim Shockley of Victor in the Republican primary June 5 to face the winner of the Democratic contest between Jesse Laslovich and Pam Bucy.

Fox also ran for attorney general in 2008, gaining the Republican nomination and about 47.4 percent of the vote in the general election against Democrat Steve Bullock, who is running for governor.

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