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Ryan Zinke

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Ryan Zinke
Ryan Zinke official congressional photo.jpg
U.S. House, Montana, At-Large District
In office
January 3, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 0
PredecessorSteve Daines (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Montana State Senate District 2
2009 - 2013
Bachelor'sUniversity of Oregon, 1984
Master'sNational University, 1991
University of San Diego, 2004
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Date of birthNovember 1, 1961
Place of birthBozeman, MT
Office website
Campaign website
Ryan Zinke (b. November 1, 1961) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Montana's At-Large Congressional District. Zinke was first elected to the House in 2014 and is currently serving his first term.

Zinke won the Republican nomination in the primary on June 3, 2014, and went on to defeat John Lewis (D) and Mike Fellows (Montana) (Libertarian) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Zinke is a former Republican member of the Montana State Senate, representing District 2 from 2008 to 2013.

Zinke was previously a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Montana in the 2012 election, but he and his running mate, Neil Livingstone, finished fifth in the primary election on June 5, 2012.[1]


Zinke earned his B.S. in geology from the University of Oregon in 1984. He went on to receive his MBA in finance from the National University in 1991. He then earned his M.S. in global leadership from the University of San Diego in 2004.

Zinke was Mission Commander for SEAL Team Six in 1992. He was then Ground Force Commander for Joint Special Operations Command in 1996. He was also a Commander in a Joint Task Force in Bosnia and Kosovo in 1999 and 2001, respectively. In 2003 he was an Executive Officer at a SEAL Training Center. Zinke was Deputy Commander of CJSOTF-AP Special Forces in Iraq in 2004. In 2006 he was Director of Naval Special Warfare Technology. He then worked as President/CEO of CDI in 2008. He was also President of Great Northern Peace Park Foundation in 2008.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Zinke's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 2015-Present: U.S. Representative from Montana's At-Large Congressional District
  • 2009-2012: Montana State Senate
  • 2003: Graduated from the University of San Diego with an M.S.
  • 1991: Graduated from National University in San Diego with a M.B.A.
  • 1985-2008: United States Navy
  • 1984: Graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Zinke serves on the following committees:[3]

Montana State Senate


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Zinke served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Zinke served on these committees:


Military records

The Montana Democratic Party asked that Zinke release all of his military records from his service as a Navy SEAL. The records, some of which can be found here, highlighted Zinke's extensive awards, praise from superior officers and medical evaluations after injury.[4] The Democratic Party blamed Zinke for redacting key information, and asked specifically for Zinke to release any letters of reprimand that he had received. Zinke explained that at one point in his military career, he had used $211 of Navy money to buy a plane ticket in order to "scout out potential SEAL training sites in Montana," and he was later asked to pay the money back. However, Zinke said that the Navy never issued a letter of reprimand over the money, and he paid it back.[5]



See also: Montana's At-Large Congressional District elections, 2014

In 2014, Zinke won election to the U.S. House to represent Montana's At-Large District. Zinke won the Republican nomination in the primary on June 3, 2014. He defeated John Lewis (D) and Mike Fellows (Montana) (Libertarian) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Montana's At-Large District General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRyan Zinke 55.4% 203,871
     Democratic John Lewis 40.4% 148,690
     Libertarian Mike Fellows 4.2% 15,402
Total Votes 367,963
Source: Montana Secretary of State
U.S. House, Montana's At-Large District Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRyan Zinke 33.3% 43,766
Corey Stapleton 29.3% 38,591
Matt Rosendale 28.8% 37,965
Elsie Arntzen 6.8% 9,011
Drew Turiano 1.7% 2,290
Total Votes 131,623
Source: Montana Secretary of State - Official Primary Results


Zinke campaign ad[6]


See also: Montana gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Zinke sought the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Montana. He and his running mate, Neil Livingstone, finished fifth in a field of seven pairs of candidates in the primary election on June 5, 2012.[1]


On November 4, 2008, Zinke won election to the 2nd District Seat in the Montana State Senate, defeating Brittany MacLean (D).[7]

Montana State Senate, District 2 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Ryan Zinke (R) 5,498
Brittany MacLean (D) 4,571

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 Zinke's reports.[8]

Ryan Zinke (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End[9]January 31, 2014$0.00$447,610.40$(102,714.91)$344,895.49
April Quarterly[10]April 15, 2014$344,895.49$460,260.12$(381,381.18)$423,774.43
Pre-Primary[11]July 22, 2014$423,774.43$290,759.59$(563,834.25)$150,699.77
July Quarterly[12]October 21, 2014$150,699.77$405,657.76$(459,051.32)$97,306.21
October Quarterly[13]October 15, 2014$97,306.21$1,930,612.90$(1,537,128.32)$490,790.79
Pre-General[14]October 23, 2014$490,790.79$447,692.12$(318,436.66)$620,046.25
Running totals


In 2008, Zinke collected $40,125 in donations.[15]

His five largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Ryan Zinke $15,491
Daniel Wilken $320
Lyle Phillips $320
Brian Grattan $260
Anthony Brown $260


Zinke and his wife, Lolita Charlotte, have three children.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Daines (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Montana At-Large District
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Montana Senate District 2
Succeeded by
Dee Brown (R)