Betty D. Montgomery

From Ohio History Central

Betty D. Montgomery was a prominent Ohio politician during the late twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries.

Montgomery was born on April 3, 1948, in Fremont, Ohio. She graduated with an English degree from Bowling Green State University in 1970, and she then sought a law degree from the University of Toledo, earning this degree in 1976.

Before graduating with her law degree, Montgomery embarked upon a career in public service, becoming a clerk for the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Once able to practice law, she became an assistant prosecuting attorney in Wood County. In 1978, Montgomery accepted a position as prosecuting attorney of Perrysburg, and in 1981, she became Wood County's prosecuting attorney. In 1988, she won election as a member of the Republican Party to the Ohio State Senate, where she served on numerous committees dealing with legal and environmental issues. Her most notable accomplishment while a senator was sponsoring the bill that created Ohio's Lake Erie license plate. By 2002, sales of the license plate had raised more than 1.5 million dollars to help protect Lake Erie environmentally. Montgomery also proposed Ohio's first victim's rights and living will laws.

In 1990, Montgomery won election as Ohio's attorney general. She became the first woman in Ohio history to hold this office. As attorney general, she was an outspoken supporter of victims' rights and lobbied the state legislature and governor to increase funding to local law enforcement agencies. Montgomery also worked to establish a state DNA database to help catch and convict repeat criminals. She probably was best known for her efforts to protect Ohio consumers from fraudulent businesses.

In 2002, Montgomery ran for and won election as Ohio's auditor. In 2006, she ran for Ohio's governor's seat, failing to secure the Republican Party's nomination. That same year, she sought election as Ohio's attorney general. Democrat Mark Dann defeated Montgomery in a close election.

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