Attorney General candidiate vows to advocate for Montanans

Brendan Heidner
Thursday, February 20, 2020
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Raph Graybill

In his campaign for the attorney general’s seat, Democrat Raph Graybill believes the position calls for a strong advocate for the people of Montana.

Graybill grew up and graduated high school in Great Falls as a fifth generation Montanan.

Spending his childhood in Montana, he continued his education with an undergraduate degree at Columbia University, masters degree at the University of Oxford and then went on to Yale Law School.

After graduating, Graybill moved back to Montana to work for the United States Court of Appeals in Billings and in private practice for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

For the last three years, he has lived in Helena with his wife Marisa Graybill and ten-month-old daughter and served as Governor Steve Bullock’s chief legal counsel.

One thing Graybill thinks is important is reimagining what the attorney general is and reframing what the job is all about.

He wants to get back to the ideology that people see the attorney general as an independent watchdog and voice on behalf of the people.

“(Our Founding Fathers) had a whole discussion about should the Attorney General just be appointed by the governor and report to the governor?” Graybill said. “They decided no, it should be a constitutionally independent office accountable only to the people.”

That and time spent in law are Graybill’s greatest motivations for running.

“It’s really been that experience of going down on the front lines of some of these big legal fights that’s motivated me to run for attorney general,” Graybill said.

Throughout his campaign tour around the state, he noted one major issue that has come to him and that is the price of healthcare and prescription drugs.

“People don’t realize this, but the attorney general can play a huge role in making sure that you have affordable access to healthcare,” Graybill said.

Graybill used the attorney general of Connecticut – who takes prescribed amoxicillin – as an example.

After noticing his copayment was steadily growing more expensive, he launched an investigation through the attorney general’s office.

“They discover that the generic drug companies are working together to fix prices on these drugs and raise prices on people,” Graybill added.

With that in mind, he has so far announced one thing he will do if elected attorney general and that is review price increases of any prescription drug in Montana that goes up in price year over year by a certain percentage.

“If it’s based on economic forces (like) a factory burns down or something - evidence, science, facts, data - that’s fine, but if it’s just based on pure profit and price gouging and it’s targeting Montanans, we’ll haul that company into court and get that money back,” Graybill said.

The rest of Graybill’s campaign is focused on fundraising and gaining support all throughout the state.

“It’s really important to me to make sure to have support that is broad based throughout the state,” he said.

He continues to do that by visiting different towns and raising support from “smalldollar” supporters and says he pledged to not take money from the corporate political action committees.

“We don’t need new laws, we need to have someone willing to take on the big fights to protect the laws we have now,” Graybill said.

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