Jerry O'Neil

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Jerry O'Neil
Montana House of Representatives, District 3
Former member
In office
2011 - 2015
Elections and appointments
Term limits4 terms (8 years)
Date of birthMay 10, 1943
Place of birthKalispell, Montana
Jerry O'Neil (b. May 10, 1943) is a former Republican member of the Montana House of Representatives, representing District 3 from 2011 to 2015.


O'Neil earned his A.A. from Flathead Community College. His professional experience includes working as a machinist, mechanic, toolmaker, woodworker, manager at Retail Lumber Company, and owner of Mediator and Independent Paralegal.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, O'Neil served on the following committees:

Montana Committee Assignments, 2013
Local Government


Schools and guns

On February 4, 2013, O'Neil introduced House Bill 384, allowing students to leave guns locked in their cars on school grounds. He told the House Judiciary Committee that the bill "allows a student in rural Montana to bring a gun to school locked in their car, and perhaps hunt on the way to school or the way home from school." At the time, state law called for a one-year expulsion for students found to have brought a firearm to school, though attorney Debra Silk told the Associated Press that no Montana school had expelled anyone for such a length.[1] On third reading, the bill was rejected by a vote of 45-53, and died in process as the 2013 session concluded.[2]

Corporal punishment for offenders

Though such a bill had not been formally introduced by the conclusion of the 2013 session, O'Neil was said to be drafting legislation that allowed the option for convicts to accept corporal punishments in lieu of prison time. O'Neil told the Associated Press that his plan could possibly save the state's corrections budget millions of dollars per year. The Montana ACLU countered that although options for decreasing "over-incarceration" and correctional costs needed to be explored, corporal punishment was not one of them.[3][4]


After his re-election in 2012, O'Neil wrote a letter to the Legislature requesting that his salary be paid in gold, saying that his constituents told him he was not fulfilling his oath to the U.S. Constitution. He told Politico that the Constitution requires the government to print gold-backed money, saying, "I think we’ve gotten a tremendously long way from [a gold standard]." The state denied this request, saying that the Constitution did not require the payment of state debts with gold and silver coins, and that the state code had no provision for such payment.[5][6]



See also: Montana House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Montana House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 3, 2014, and a general election took place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 10, 2014; minor party and independent candidates had until June 2, 2014, to file. Zac Perry was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Jerry O'Neil was unopposed in the Republican primary. Perry defeated O'Neil and Chris Colvin (L) in the general election.[7][8]

Montana House of Representatives, District 3 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngZac Perry 48.6% 1,558
     Republican Jerry O'Neil Incumbent 47.1% 1,510
     Libertarian Chris Colvin 4.3% 138
Total Votes 3,206


See also: Montana House of Representatives elections, 2012

O'Neil won re-election in the 2012 election for Montana House of Representatives, District 3. O'Neil ran unopposed in the June 5 primary election and defeated Zac Perry (D) and Shawn Guymon (L) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[9][10]

Montana House of Representatives, District 3, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJerry O'Neil Incumbent 51.1% 2,333
     Democratic Zac Perry 43.7% 1,996
     Libertarian Shawn Guymon 5.1% 235
Total Votes 4,564


See also: Montana House of Representatives elections, 2010

On November 2, 2010, O'Neil won election to the Montana House of Representatives. O'Neil defeated Harm Toren and Sandy Welch in the June 8 primary. He faced Zac Perry (D), Shawn Bailey (C), and Shawn Guymon (I) in the November 2 general election.[11][12]

Montana House of Representatives, District 3 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Jerry O'Neil (R) 1,747
Zac Perry (D) 1,308
Shawn Guymon (I) 286

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for O'Neil is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, O'Neil raised a total of $31,680 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 8, 2013.[13]

Jerry O'Neil's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Montana Senate, District 3 Won $3,280
2010 Montana House, District 3 Won $9,213
2006 Montana Senate, District 3 Not up for election $0
2004 Montana Senate, District 3 Won $14,837
2000 Montana Senate, District 42 Won $4,350
Grand Total Raised $31,680


O'Neil won re-election to the Montana House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, O'Neil raised a total of $3,280.


O'Neil won election to the Montana House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, O'Neil raised a total of $9,213.


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Montana

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 7 to April 27.

Legislators are scored on "hotlisted bills that represent a portfolio of priority conservation and environmental issues."[14]
Legislators are scored on bills of importance to a state teachers' union.
Legislators are scored on issues of importance to a public interest advocacy group based at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Legislators are scored on bills relating to property rights.


O'Neil has five children.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Dee Brown (R)
Montana House of Representatives District 3
Succeeded by
Zac Perry (D)