Governor of Montana
|Office website:||Official Link|
|Term limits:||Two terms during any 16 year period|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section IV the Executive Department|
|Assumed office:||January 7, 2013|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Last election:||November 6, 2012|
|Other Montana Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Public Instruction • Agriculture Director • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Director • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
Under Article VI, Section I:
The executive branch includes a governor...
Additionally, under Article VI, Section IV:
The executive power is vested in the governor who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
| 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010 |
Lists of candidates
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
A candidate for governor must be:
- at least 25 years of age or older at the time of election
- a citizen of the United States
- have resided within the state at least two years at his election
- See also: Montana gubernatorial election, 2012
Montana elects governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For Montana, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 7, 2013 and January 2, 2017 are inaugural days.
Incumbent Brian Schweitzer (D) was prevented from running for re-election due to term limits. Steve Bullock (D), running on a ticket with John E. Walsh, defeated Rick Hill (R), Ron Vandevender (L), and Bill Coate (I) in the November 6, 2012 general election.
|Governor/Lieutenant Governor of Montana General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Steve 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|
|Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.|
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Montana governors are restricted to 8 years in office during any 16 year period.
| (1) The secretary of state or other authorized official shall not certify a candidate's nomination or election to, or print or cause to be printed on any ballot the name of a candidate for, one of the following offices if, at the end of the current term of that office, the candidate will have served in that office or had he not resigned or been recalled would have served in that office:|
(a) 8 or more years in any 16-year period as governor...
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
Details of vacancies are addressed under Article VI, Section 14.
If a Governor-elect dies, is disqualified, or declines to take office, the Lieutenant Governor-elect takes offices and serves as Governor. If the Governor-elect is unable to take office on inauguration day, the Lieutenant Governor-elect served as Acting Governor only until the elected Governor is able to take office.
The Lieutenant Governor also becomes Acting Governor when the Governor so requests in writing, when the Governor's illness or disability renders him unable to make that request, and automatically whenever the Governor has been absent from office for 45 days.
Under such circumstances, the legislature has 21 days to consider the motion and may declare the Governor until by a two-thirds vote. The Lieutenant Governor then becomes the Acting Governor and the elected Governor retains the prerogative to attest that he is able to resume the office. If the Governor takes this step, the legislature has 15 days to contest the declaration.
Lastly, the Lieutenant Governor assumes the governorship and serves the remainder of the term if the Governor dies, resigns, or is disqualified while in office.
The governor has the duty to see see that the Montana Constitution and the laws of the state are faithfully executed. The governor has the power to appoint and supervise the directors of each executive department. Additionally, the governor, as mandated by the state constitution, will give information to the state legislature and recommend measures considered necessary and suitable (§ 9). This includes submitting a budget recommendation detailing expenditures and revenue. The governor has the responsibility to carry out the duties of commander-in-chief of the militia forces of the state.
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Delegating powers to the Lieutenant Governor, excepting those that are Constitutionally vested in the Governor (§ 4)
- Filling vacancies in all other Executive offices (§ 6)
- Making all appointments not otherwise provided for by law, filling vacancies with the consent of the Senate, and making recess appointments (§ 8)
- Vetoing bills, "except bills proposing amendments to the Montana constitution, bills ratifying proposed amendments to the United States constitution, resolutions, and initiative and referendum measures," subject to a legislative override. The Governor may also recommend amendments to bills (§ 10)
- Convening special sessions of the legislature (§ 11)
- Granting pardons and reprieves, remitting fines and forfeitures, and restoring citizenship (§ 12)
- Requiring reports from any executive office and appointing committees to investigate the same (§ 15)
Under Article VI, Section 5, the governor's salary is fixed by law and the Governor may not receive any other governmental compensation while in office
As of 2010, the Governor of Montana is paid $100,121 a year, the 42nd highest gubernatorial salary in America.
Since 1889, Montana has had 24 governors. Of the 24, 14 have been Democrats, 9 have been Republicans, and 1 was a Democratic-Populist.
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||Joseph K. Toole||1889||1893||Democratic|
|2||John E. Rickards||1893||1897||Republican|
|3||Robert B. Smith||1897||1901||Democrat-Populist|
|4||Joseph K. Toole||1901||1908||Democratic|
|5||Edwin L. Norris||1908||1913||Democratic|
|6||Samuel V. Stewart||1913||1921||Democratic|
|7||Joseph M. Dixon||1921||1925||Republican|
|8||John E. Erickson||1925||1933||Democratic|
|9||Frank H. Cooney||1933||1935||Democratic|
|11||Roy E. Ayers||1937||1941||Democratic|
|12||Samuel C. Ford||1941||1949||Republican|
|13||John W. Bonner||1949||1953||Democratic|
|14||John Hugo Aronson||1953||1961||Republican|
|15||Donald G. Nutter||1961||1962||Republican|
|16||Tim M. Babcock||1962||1969||Republican|
|17||Forrest H. Anderson||1969||1973||Democratic|
|18||Thomas L. Judge||1973||1981||Democratic|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, in Montana there were Democratic governors in office for the last nine years while there were Republican governors in office for the first 13 years.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801
- Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
- Lieutenant Governor of Montana
- Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger
- Montana Attorney General
- Montana Secretary of State
State of Montana
List of Montana ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Director of the Department of Revenue | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Securities and Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources and Conservation | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Public Service Commission |
Public Records Act | Transparency Checklist | Government corruption reports | Transparency Legislation | Open Records procedures | Transparency Advocates | Transparency blogs | State budget | Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations |