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Sam Rankin

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Sam Rankin
Sam Rankin.jpg
Former candidate for
U.S. Senate, Montana
High schoolBillings West High School
Bachelor'sMontana State University - Billings
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army, Combat Medic 199th LIB
Campaign website
Sam Rankin was a 2014 Independent candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from Montana.[1] He decided to withdraw from the race in April 2014 and instead supported John Bohlinger in the Democratic primary.[2]

Rankin was previously a 2012 Democratic candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the At-Large Congressional District of Montana. Rankin was defeated by Kim Gillan in the Democratic primary on June 5, 2012.[3]


Rankin was born in Billings, Montana, and graduated from Billings West High School in 1963. He then pursued his bachelor's degree in liberal arts with a major in biology from Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University at Billings). In 1966, he joined the Peace Corps and taught public health and nutrition in India. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968 and served over 8 months in Vietnam. After an honorable discharge, Rankin worked for several real estate companies in Billings before starting his own firm, First Choice Real Estate, in 1983. He has taught biology on a contract basis for teachers on sabbatical at Montana public schools.[4]


On The Issues Vote Match

Sam Rankin's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Rankin is a Moderate Libertarian Liberal. Rankin received a score of 62 percent on social issues and 45 percent on economic issues.[5]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[6]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Strongly Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: April 19, 2015.[5] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: United States Senate elections in Montana, 2014

Rankin ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, to represent Montana. He dropped out of the race in April 2014 and announced that he would support Democratic candidate John Bohlinger instead. Bohlinger lost in the Democratic primary.[2]


See also: Montana's At-Large Congressional District elections, 2012

Rankin ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Montana's at-large House seat. He faced Kim Gillan, Diane Smith, Dave Strohmaier, Rob Stutz, Franke Wilmer and Jason Ward in the Democratic primary. Rankin was defeated by Kim Gillan in the Democratic primary on June 5, 2012.[3][7]

Montana's At-Large District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKim Gillan 31% 25,077
Diane Smith 15.6% 12,618
Dave Strohmaier 14.1% 11,366
Rob Stutz 3.2% 2,586
Franke Wilmer 18.4% 14,836
Sam Rankin 11.6% 9,382
Jason Ward 6.1% 4,959
Total Votes 80,824

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Rankin's reports.[8]

Sam Rankin (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[9]April 10, 2014$0.00$14,922.87$(14,087.87)$835.00
Running totals


Sam married in 1973 and divorced in 1977 and has a son from that marriage. Sam married Diane Williams of Billings in 1983, and they have two daughters.[4]

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  1. Ballot Access News, "Sam Rankin Will Attempt to be First Independent Candidate for U.S. Senator on Montana Ballot Since 1936," February 10, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 News Talk KGVO, "Sam Rankin Quits Independent U.S. Senate Bid, Supports John Bohlinger," accessed October 2, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Montana Secretary of State, "Election Results" accessed June 5, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sam Rankin for Congress, "Biography" April 18, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 On The Issues, "Sam Rankin Vote Match," accessed April 19, 2015
  6. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  7. Montana Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Results," accessed July 23, 2012‎
  8. Federal Election Commission, "Sam Rankin Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  9. Federal Election Commission, "Sam Rankin April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014