A strong woman. A solid conservative. A Montana lawmaker. A CIA veteran and a veteran of the Montana Army National Guard. Many of us here in Montana are still shocked by the news that former Rep. Kris Hansen has passed away.

According to the Montana Television Network, Hansen died at the age of 52.

Hansen represented the Havre area as a Republican. Recently, she served alongside Attorney General Austin Knudsen as Lt. Attorney General.

MTN: In 2014 she was elected to the State Senate for District 14 which encompasses Havre, Big Sandy, Fort Benton and Chester.

I mentioned the news of her death earlier this morning on the radio as tributes began pouring in.

Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale shared this message earlier in the morning. Here is what I shared on the air:

Rep. Rosendale: Many of us have memories of Kris, and I just wanted to share some thoughts. Of all the good work she did- education freedom was a true passion. She knew it was the great equalizer and that it would elevate everyone to their full potential. Kris drafted the language for the legislation that created a scholarship program which was signed into law in Montana, later contested in court, and made its way to the US Supreme Court known as the Espinoza case. Education freedom won on that day and scholarships cannot be withheld from private or religious schools. We spent many many hours together planning and working on issues to help our state. I will miss her dearly, but I am better person for knowing her.

State Senate President Mark Blasdel (R-Somers) also sent out the following statement:

Kris Hansen was a beacon of light to anyone who knew her. Always dedicated to any task she put her mind to, she was a force to be reckoned with and served our country and our state in many capacities over the years. Kris always went above and beyond to help a friend in need.

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) has also worked closely with Hansen over the years.

With the passing of Kris Hansen, we’ve lost a committed public servant and patriot, and I’ve lost a friend. Her indomitable spirit left an impact on all who knew her. A strong leader, Kris led a remarkable life, serving our nation overseas with the Montana National Guard and Central Intelligence Agency, before returning to Montana to continue her service to her community and to our Treasure State. Susan and I pray that her family, friends, and colleagues find peace and comfort.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R-MT):

Kris was a dear friend, a conservative leader, and an amazing woman who dedicated her life to others. She served our nation as a member of the National Guard in Iraq and a tour with the Central Intelligence Agency in Somalia. She served her community in the Hill County Attorney’s Office and represented her neighbors in the Montana Legislature. She served the state she loved in the Auditor’s Office and then as the Lieutenant Attorney General in the Montana Department of Justice. It was an honor to have Kris on our team and we deeply miss her presence.

 

 

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