Christine Kaufmann (Montana politician)

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Christine Kaufmann
Christine Kaufmann 2009.jpg
Kaufmann in 2009.
Member of the Montana Senate
from the 40th district
In office
January 2007 – 2016
Preceded by Ken Toole
Succeeded by Terry Gauthier
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
from the 81st district
In office
Preceded by David Ewer
Succeeded by Galen Hollenbaugh
Personal details
Born (1951-12-25) December 25, 1951 (age 65)
Political party Democratic
Residence Helena, Montana

Christine Kaufmann (born Christmas Day, 1951) is a Montana politician. A member of the Montana Senate from January 2007 to 2016, she previously served three terms in the Montana House of Representatives.[1] She represents the 41st senate district, based in Helena.


Raised on a small family farm with 11 siblings, Kaufmann earned a Bachelor's degree from Goshen College and a Master's degree from the University of Montana.[2]

A Democrat, she was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 2000 from the state's 53rd district in Helena, winning a four-way primary election with 49% of the vote.[3] She then went on to win the general election (in a district considered safe Democratic) by more than two-to-one. She was re-elected in 2002 before the district was renumbered the 81st in time for the 2004 elections. She was re-elected with little opposition in 2004 and 2006.

In November 2006, Senator Ken Toole, halfway through his second term representing the 41st senate district, was elected to the Montana Public Service Commission causing him to resign his senate seat. The following month, Kaufmann, who was about to enter her fourth and final term in the House (the result of term limits), was chosen by the county commissioners of Lewis and Clark County to replace him in the senate.[4] The seat was up for election in 2008 and, on June 3, 2008, she faced a spirited primary challenge from termed out state representative Hal Jacobson (D–Helena). Kaufmann defeated him by 2,889 votes to 2,436 – roughly 54-46%.[5]

A lesbian,[6] she is the first ever openly gay Montana state senator,[7] although she was not the first LGBT member of the legislature – Rep. Diane Sands (D–Missoula) first entered the House in 1996. She is today one of three LGBT members of the Montana legislature, alongside Sands and Rep. Bryce Bennett (D–Missoula). Her election campaigns have won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.


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