The Montana Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (MDLCC) works to elect Democrats to the Montana Legislature. It helps to identify and recruit candidates throughout the state. In addition, it provides support to Democratic candidates, including field, fundraising and communications assistance.
For more information on the MDLCC, contact our director.
Meet the leaders of the MDLCC team:
Senator Shannon Auguare
Senator Shannon J Auguare (Blackfeet) was elected to the Montana Senate in 2010. In the same year, Shannon was also elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. In 2009, Shannon held the leadership position of Majority Whip in the Montana House of Representatives. Shannon has earned a national reputation in economic development strategies for rural-American and the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his longstanding and award winning efforts in family asset building and community planning. Last spring Shannon served as part of a government-industry trade mission to six western states as Big Sky Country's representative to promote Montana's wind energy resources.
Representative Virginia Court
Representative Virginia Court nee Speck was born and raised in Whitehall, MT and graduated from Montana State University. After a stint as a Park Naturalist in Yellowstone National Park she moved to Big Bend National Park with her husband Jim. While living in National Parks she developed an even greater love for the beauty of our country and our need to preserve and use our resources wisely.
Virginia became active in Democratic Party politics in Colorado where she managed a county campaign for US Senator. After moving to Wyoming she stayed active and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
In Montana she owned and operated her own small business for 25 years while finding time to serve on the Hardin School Board and founded Little Bighorn Days, as well as working to double the size of the Carnegie Library. In the last ten years Virginia served on the state board for Montana Conservation Voters, eight years as State Treasurer and two years as State Co-Chair. She was campaign manager for one Montana statewide race and two state senate races. She has actively recruited, trained and worked for candidates running for the state legislature, district and local offices.
During the 2011 Legislative session Virginia served on Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Business and Labor and Natural Resources committees. She is currently serving on the interim legislative audit committee.
In her spare time Virginia and Jim enjoy hiking, birding, traveling and spending time with their children and 7 grandchildren.
Representative Ellie Hill
Representative Ellie Hill is proud to be a lifelong Rocky Mountain Westerner. She developed an interest in progressive politics in college where she graduated with her father, a union worker and Vietnam veteran, who had taken one night class a semester for 36 years. After graduating from law school, she interned for the Nez Perce tribe and later practiced as deputy prosecutor. Most recently, Ellie served as the Executive Director of one of Western Montana's best known and beloved nonprofit organizations, advocating for veterans issues, the homeless and the impoverished. She was voted by readers of the Missoula Independent newspaper as "Missoula's Best Activist" 92007-2011).
In November of 2010, Ellie was elected to the Montana House of Representatives and named by Time Magazine as one of the nation's "40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars." She is the national Vice President for the Young Democrats of America, and named by the Washington Post as one of the best "State-based Political Tweeters." Prior to running for office, Ellie served as the national committeewoman for the Missoula County Democrats.
Ellie and her husband John ski the bumps in the winter, search for white water in the summer, and always find a Montana made beer after both. They live on the banks of the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula.
Senator Kendall Van Dyk
Senator Kendall Van Dyk was raised on a ranch along the Madison River near Three Forks. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from Montana State University-Bozeman and while he may be in the minority in his caucus, remains a loyal, vocal Bobcat fan. Kendall lives and works in Billings and works as a renewable energy coordinator for Trout Unlimited.
Kendall was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006. In 2009, he chaired the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks committee and sponsored the first stream access bill to pass the legislature in 25 years.
In 2010, Kendall defeated Sen. Roy Brown in Billings in one of the toughest races in the state. Kendall was one of only 12 Democratic legislative candidates nation-wide to unseat a GOP incumbent.
In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing with his girlfriend and his dog, and bow hunting with his buddies.
Director - Lauren Caldwell
Lauren Caldwell first came to Montana to study at the University of Montana in 2001. For the past decade, she has worked on various agricultural, environmental, nonprofit, and political issues and campaigns in rural and urban areas of the state. Most recently she served the residents of Montana as a Field Represenative for Senator Baucus, covering public land issues across the state.
Lauren comes from a long and diverse line of Democrats -- from the south, from the mid-west, from the northeast, and from the west -- from teachers to ministers to businessmen/women to soldiers to homemakers. She believes they were united as Democrats by a strong belief in the power of community. That same ethic draws her to help elect Democrats through the MDLCC.
She is looking forward to helping strong citizen legislative candidates from communities all across Montana choose to run for office, campaign well, gain the support of the residents in their district, and win.
Contact Lauren at Lauren@MontanaDemocrats.org