Steve Bullock

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Steve Bullock
Steve Bullock.jpg
Governor of Montana
In office
January 7, 2013 - Present
Term ends
January 2, 2017
Years in position 2
PredecessorBrian Schweitzer (D)
Base salary$108,167
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$2,403,266
Term limitsCannot exceed 8 years in any 16 year period
Prior offices
Attorney General of Montana
High schoolHelena High School (1984)
Bachelor'sClaremont McKenna College
J.D.Columbia University School of Law
Date of birthApril 11, 1966
Place of birthMissoula, Montana
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Steve Bullock (b. April 11, 1966, in Missoula, Montana) is the 24th and current Democratic Governor of Montana. He has served in this position since 2013.[1] Bullock was first elected governor in 2012. He and his running mate, Brigadier General (Ret.) John E. Walsh, defeated Heather Margolis and Steve Nelsen in the June 5, 2012 primary election.[2] The Bullock/Walsh ticket then defeated Republicans Rick Hill and Jon Sonju, and Libertarians Ron Vandevender and Marc Mulcahy in the general election on November 6, 2012. Bullock was sworn into office on January 7, 2013, replacing term-limited Democrat Brian Schweitzer.

Bullock previously served one term as Montana Attorney General, from 2009 to 2013. In 2012, he opted to run for governor rather than seek re-election as the state's top law enforcement official. Bullock was succeeded by Republican Tim Fox, who won election on November 6, 2012.

Bullock is a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association during the 2014-2015 year. He, along with eight other governors, determine the association's priorities and actions for the year. He was named to this leadership role in July 2014.[3]

Bullock's first term expires January 2, 2017. The next time his seat will be up for election is November 2016, and Bullock is eligible to run for a second term if he so chooses.


Bullock was born in Missoula, Montana. He attended Clarement McKenna College for his bachelor's degree and later graduated from Columbia University School of Law.[4]

He began his career in the legal profession in 1996 serving as chief legal counsel to the Montana Secretary of State advising the office in all legal matters. A year later, he joined the Montana Justice Department, first as an executive assistant to the attorney general then as acting chief deputy attorney general, a role he maintained until 2001. It was also during this time that Bullock worked as legislative director, helping to coordinate the legislative efforts of the attorney general's office.[4]

Bullock returned to the private sector in 2001 as an attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Steptoe & Johnson while working as an adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Law. Three years later, he moved back to Montana to represent individuals, consumer organizations, labor unions, peace officers, associations of political subdivisions and private businesses as an attorney.[4]

Apart from his political duties, Bullock serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies, the, Public Policy Council, Gates of the Mountains Foundation and Lewis and Clark County Historic Preservation Commission.[4]


  • Bachelor's degree, Claremont McKenna College
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Columbia University School of Law[4]

Political career

Governor of Montana (2013-present)

Bullock was sworn in as Montana's 24th governor on January 7, 2013. His term expires in January 2017.[4]

Campaign finance regulation

Read full text of SB 289 here

On April 22, 2015, Bullock signed new campaign finance regulations requiring previously-anonymous groups to report campaign contributions in state elections. SB 289 requires disclosure from any group spending money on "electioneering communications" or contributing to candidates starting with the statewide election in 2016. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Duane Ankney (R), passed the state House 51-48 and went to the governor's desk after a 30-20 vote in the state Senate. Eight Republican senators and 10 Republican members of the state House joined their Democratic colleagues to approve SB 289.[5][6]

Ankney and state Sen. Frank Garner (R) joined Bullock during the bill signing on April 22. Garner was a vocal advocate for campaign finance regulation due to a run-in in early 2015 with Americans for Prosperity-Montana (AFP). The group sent postcards mobilizing residents of Garner's district to attend a town meeting following the legislator's refusal to sign an AFP pledge opposing Medicaid expansion. Ankney and Garner rallied Republican votes in the state Senate by highlighting the benefits of campaigning on regulating money from anonymous groups.[6]

Bullock made the following statement about SB 289 during the signing ceremony:

Montana is now back to having legitimate elections instead of the auctions we — for a brief time — held every two years...And we are on our way back to having elected officials that are finally accountable to the citizens they represent instead of some special interest and their bundles of dark money.

Beginning in the next election for state races, Montanans will be able to accurately judge and understand the political attacks that have become so common in our elections, and they’ll have the opportunity to see who is funding the attacks. [7]

The Montana Standard, (2015)[6]

The Montana Republican Party criticized Bullock for hypocrisy due to his role on the National Governors Association. A statement released by the party concluded, "Bullock only believes in transparency as long as he doesn’t have to tell Montanans where all his undisclosed, unlimited corporate cash is coming from."[6]

Attorney General (2009-2013)

On January 5, 2009, Steve Bullock was sworn into office as the state Attorney General. As the state's chief lawyer and law enforcement officer, he led the Montana Department of Justice whose divisions include the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Office of Gambling Control, the Office of Legal Services and the Division of Criminal Investigation, in addition to the department's information technology staff.

Initiatives that Bullock proposed as attorney general include:

  • Strong enforcement and prosecution under Montana's sexual predator laws and ensuring that offenders comply with the legal requirements of Montana's Sexual or Violent Offender Registry.
  • Creating a position for a special prosecutor within the Attorney General's office to focus exclusively on crimes against children.
  • Developing a Children's Justice Center within the Montana Department of Justice which specalizes efforts to enforce laws relating to sexual violence against children, and to improve the services to child victims; an
  • Providing support and resources to local law enforcement and Montana's county attorneys.
  • Public access to Montana's streams and public lands

Healthcare lawsuit

In March 2010, Bullock decided not to join 26 other state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business in filing suit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the law in a 5-4 ruling issued on June 28, 2012.[8]

On The Issues Vote Match

Steve Bullock'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, Bullock is a Moderate Populist Conservative. Bullock received a score of 36 percent on social issues and 47 percent on economic issues.[9]

Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: Montana gubernatorial election, 2012

Bullock won election as Governor of Montana in 2012. He and his running mate, Brigadier General (Ret.) John E. Walsh, defeated Heather Margolis and Steve Nelsen in the June 5th primary election.[10]

Bullock defeated Rick Hill/Jon Sonju (R) and Ron Vandevender/Marc Mulcahy (L) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

According to the website Daily Kos, this race was one of nine top-ballot 2012 races that contained Libertarian candidates who received more total votes than was the difference between the Democratic winner and the GOP runner-up. In this case, Ron Vandevender took in over 9,000 more votes than the number that separated Bullock and Hill.[11]

Governor/Lieutenant Governor of Montana General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock and John E. Walsh 48.9% 236,450
     Republican Rick Hill and Jon Sonju 47.3% 228,879
     Libertarian Ron Vandevender and Marc Mulcahy 3.8% 18,160
Total Votes 483,489
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.

Governor/Lt. Governor of Montana, Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock & John E. Walsh 86.6% 76,738
Heather Margolis & Steve Nelsen 13.4% 11,823
Total Votes 88,561
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.

Bullock for Governor campaign ad

Issue positions

  • Abortion

Bullock set himself apart from Hill on the issue of abortion, stating, "the difference couldn’t be clearer between us. As governor, I will defend a women’s right to choice. I think these are complicated and difficult decisions, but they shouldn’t be made by the government. They should be made by women and their doctors.”[12]

  • Economy

Bullock said in order to create a stronger state economy, he would work to help small businesses create jobs and promote rural growth “through responsible development of our vast energy resources and attract new businesses, like high tech companies, to invest here.”[13]

  • XL Pipeline

Bullock expressed his support for the Keystone XL pipleline, stating, "With tight regulation and appropriate, long-term oversight, the Keystone XL pipeline project has the ability to create thousands of jobs, in Montana, advance domestic security and be a shot in the arm to our economy."[14]


Bullock defeated Republican Tim Fox to become Montana Attorney General in 2008.

Montana Attorney General - General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock 52.6% 245,669
     Republican Tim Fox 47.4% 220,992
Total Votes 466,661
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State

Bullock defeated Mike Wheat and John Parker for the Democratic nomination.

Montana Attorney General - Democratic Primary, 2008
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Bullock 42% 63,276
Mike Wheat 36.5% 54,859
John Parker 21.5% 32,362
Total Votes 150,497
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bullock is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Bullock raised a total of $2,403,266 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 17, 2013.[15]

Steve Bullock's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Montana* Won $1,863,832
2010 Attorney General of Montana Not up for election $51,290
2008 Attorney General of Montana Won $443,723
2000 Attorney General of Montana Defeated $44,421
Grand Total Raised $2,403,266
*This was a joint-ticket with Lieutenant Governor John E. Walsh.


Bullock won re-election to the position of Governor of Montana in 2012. During that election cycle, Bullock raised a total of $1,863,832.


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Steve Bullock's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.


Bullock and his wife, Lisa, have three children - Caroline, Alexandria and Cameron.[17]

State profile

Montana's population in 2014 was 1,023,579.

Montana's population in 2014 was 1,023,579 according to the United States Census Bureau. This estimate represented a 3.5 percent increase from the bureau's 2010 estimate. The state's population per square mile was 6.8 in 2010, falling below the national average of 87.4.

Montana experienced a 2.3 percent increase in total employment from 2011 to 2012 based on census data, exceeding the 2.2 percent increase at the national level during the same period.[18]


Montana fell below the national average for residents who attained at least bachelor's degrees based on census data from 2009 to 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 28.7 percent of Montana residents aged 25 years and older attained bachelor's degrees compared to 28.8 percent at the national level.

The median household income in Montana was $46,230 between 2009 and 2013 compared to a $53,046 national median income. Census information showed a 16.5 percent poverty rate in Montana during the study period compared to a 14.5 percent national poverty rate.[18]

Racial Demographics, 2013[18]
Race Montana (%) United States (%)
White 89.5 77.7
Black or African American 0.6 13.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 6.5 1.2
Asian 0.8 5.3
Two or More Races 2.5 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 3.3 17.1

Presidential Voting Pattern, 2000-2012[19][20]
Year Democratic vote in Montana (%) Republican vote in Montana (%) Democratic vote in U.S. (%) Republican vote in U.S. (%)
2012 41.7 55.4 51.1 47.2
2008 47.1 49.5 52.9 45.7
2004 38.6 59.1 48.3 50.7
2000 33.4 58.4 48.4 47.9

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[21]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Steve Bullock Montana Governor."

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Steve Bullock - Google News Feed

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Attorney General Steve Bullock
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 201401
Helena, MT 59620-1401

Phone: (406) 444-2026
Fax: (406) 444-3549

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. The Billings-Gazette, "Bullock sworn in as 24th governor of Montana," January 7, 2013
  2. Montana Secretary of State, "Unofficial results: June 5, 2012
  3. National Governors Association, "NGA Announces New Executive Committee Leadership," July 13, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Office of Governor Steve Bullock, "Governor Steve Bullock," accessed May 1, 2015
  5. LegiScan, "MT SB289," accessed May 1, 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Montana Standard, "Bullock signs campaign finance bill into law, forces 'dark money' groups to report," April 22, 2015
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. Montana Policy Institute, Montana Pig Book, p. 35
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  10. Montana Secretary of State, "Unofficial results: June 5, 2012
  11. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  12. Missoulian, "Montana governor candidates criticize each other in wake of politician's rape comments," August 20, 2012
  13. Independent Record, "Dem gov hopefuls stress education, volunteerism," April 2, 2012
  14. Billings Gazette, "Democratic governor candidates back pipeline," January 10, 2012
  15. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Steve Bullock," accessed July 17, 2013
  16. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  17. Montana Department of Justice, "Attorney General Steve Bullock," accessed August 25, 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 United States Census Bureau, "QuickFacts Beta," accessed March 24, 2015
  19. Montana Secretary of State, "Archive Publications," accessed April 17, 2015
  20. The American Presidency Project, "Presidential Elections Data," accessed March 24, 2015
  21. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Schweitzer (D)
Governor of Montana
January 7, 2013 - Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mike McGrath
Montana Attorney General
Succeeded by
Tim Fox (R)