In a statement released on Thursday, October 11, Missoula Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen reiterated that the recent attacks on her are politically motivated, since they come so close to an election.

“I am saddened at the recent level of attacks against me, suddenly, just before an election,” said Andersen. “They began in earnest immediately after the primary election and have increased as we approach the general election. This appears as an orchestrated political attack, which is disappointing, especially if being used to misdirect voters during an election. Disagreements can be discussed; but partial stories, left out facts and non-truths to gain political advantage, cannot be condoned. Not now and not ever.”

Andersen addressed two issues that have come up from a recent investigation into her Justice Court office.

“I don not make my clerks feed kittens, and I do not collect or keep court monies on my back porch,” she said.

Andersen also addressed the restructuring of the Missoula Justice Court.

“Making this issue into a political football does not serve our citizens and it costs taxpayer’s money,” she said. “Money they should not have to spend in support of someone else’s political agenda. Instead, I am doing exactly what I should be doing as a judge. I remain non-partisan and independent. I recognize the importance of separation of governmental branches.  And I will continue to serve our citizens first and foremost, while continuing to explore cost saving efficiencies and remaining ethically committed to the rule of law, not the rule of partisan politics.”

Andersen is up for reelection on November 6 and she is opposed by local attorney Alex Beal.