Kristen Juras

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Kristen Juras
37th Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Assumed office
January 4, 2021
GovernorGreg Gianforte
Preceded byMike Cooney
Personal details
Kristen Gustafson

(1955-10-16) October 16, 1955 (age 65)
Conrad, Montana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
RelativesWylie Gustafson (brother)
EducationUniversity of Montana (BA)
University of Georgia (JD)

Kristen Juras (née Gustafson; born October 16, 1955) is an American businesswoman, attorney, law professor, and politician. A Republican, Juras is the 37th and current Lieutenant Governor of Montana since 2021.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Conrad, Montana, Juras graduated from Conrad High School in 1973.[1] She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana in 1977 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1982.[2][3]


Juras entered private practice in Georgia and Oklahoma City before returning to Montana in 1988. She works as an adjunct law professor at the University of Montana's Alexander Blewett III School of Law. Juras ran for the Montana Supreme Court seat vacated by Patricia O'Brien Cotter in 2016.[4][5] She advanced to the general election, losing to Dirk Sandefur.[6]

In March 2020, incumbent Congressman Greg Gianforte, who is running for governor of Montana, selected Juras as his running mate in the 2020 Montana gubernatorial election.[7] They won their party's nomination in the Republican primary, and faced incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Montana House member Casey Schreiner in the November general election.[8] Gianforte and Juras won the election,[9] and were sworn into office on January 4, 2021.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Juras and her husband, John, have three sons.[2] Her brother is country musician Wylie Gustafson.[11]


  1. ^ Carter, Troy (May 11, 2015). "UM prof prepares campaign for Montana high court". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Valley Journal: Supreme court candidates' experience varied".
  3. ^ Gill, Eric K. "Kristen Juras visits Sidney, Glendive, Herald newspaper". Sidney Herald.
  4. ^ "Montana Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras cites work with small businesses | 406 Politics". Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  5. ^ Cates-Carney, Corin. "Kristen Juras: 'A Diverse Court Is A Better Court'". Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Sandefur Elected Montana's Next Supreme Court Justice". Associated Press.
  7. ^ Drake, Phil (March 1, 2020). "Gianforte names Great Falls attorney Kristen Juras as lieutenant governor running mate". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Gianforte, Cooney win governor primaries | State & Regional". Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  9. ^ "Republican Greg Gianforte elected Montana's next governor". AP NEWS. November 3, 2020.
  10. ^ Larson, Seaborn; Kuglin, Tom. "Gianforte, 1st GOP governor in 16 years, sworn in". Helena Independent Record.
  11. ^ "Entertainer wants compensation for use of his yodel". Associated Press. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Cooney
Lieutenant Governor of Montana