A four-term Kalispell state representative has been tabbed by incoming Attorney General Austin Knudsen to lead the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), Knudsen’s campaign announced on Wednesday.
Steve Lavin has spent 28 years with MHP, ascending to the rank of major. He will receive a promotion to colonel and the top job in the department when the new administration, including Knudsen, takes office in January. Lavin and Knudsen were both Republican members of the Montana House of Representatives beginning in 2011 before each termed out ahead of the 2018 election.
“Steve has the vision, experience and leadership ability we need to tackle the difficult challenges we face,” Knudsen wrote on his website. “His integrity and steadfast devotion to duty will serve Montana well.”
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the troopers of the Montana Highway Patrol and the people of Montana,” Lavin added. “I appreciate Attorney General-elect Knudsen placing his confidence in me and I look forward to the task ahead.”
Knudsen will replace Colonel Tom Butler, who was appointed to lead MHP by Attorney General Tim Fox in 2013.
A Helena native, Lavin graduated from Montana State University in 1989. He and his wife of 29 years, Amy Hunthausen Lavin, reside in Kalispell.
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