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John Bohlinger

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John Bohlinger, Jr.
John Bohlinger.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Retired officeholder
In office
January 23, 2005 - January 7, 2013
Base salary$86,362
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Montana State Senate
1998 – 2004
Montana House of Representatives
1992 – 1998
High schoolBillings Senior High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Montana (1959)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1954 – 1961
Date of birthApril 21, 1936
Place of birthBozeman, Montana
Office website

John Bohlinger, Jr. (born April 21, 1936) was the Lieutenant Governor of Montana from 2005-2013. Bohlinger ran successfully as a Republican, on a ticket headed by Democrat Brian Schweitzer in 2004 and 2008.[1] He was succeeded by Democrat John E. Walsh on January 7, 2013.[2]

Bohlinger was also a 2014 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Montana. He was defeated by incumbent John Walsh in the Democratic primary on June 3, 2014.


John Bohlinger was born in Bozeman, Montana on April 21, 1936, to parents John and Aileen Bohlinger, and in 1941, the family moved to Billings, Montana where his parents operated a women's apparel store called Aileen's.

While enrolled at Billings Senior High School, Bohlinger enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He went on to the University of Montana where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in business. The Marine Corps called him to service after his sophomore year and he completed his university career after completing his service with the Marine Corps. Bohlinger spent the next 33 years as a small businessman working in the family clothing business. He was the widower of the late Bette Cobetto, who died of cancer on January 9, 2006 and was married to Karen Seiler in Helena January 12, 2008.


  • BA, Business, University of Montana, 1959

Political career

Lieutenant Governor (2005-2013)

On the 2004 gubernatorial ticket, Bohlinger, a Republican, joined with Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat. There was no precedent in Montana where the candidates on a gubernatorial ticket belonged to different parties and the pairing was controversial. The ticket prevailed and Bohlinger was inaugurated as Lieutenant Governor of Montana on January 3, 2005.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Schweitzer/Bohlinger ticket won re-election in the November 4, 2008 election.

Workers' compensation bill

Lt. Gov. Bohlinger chairs the Labor-Management Advisory Council (LMAC) and told members in December 2010 that Republican House leaders have said the bill does not go far enough and want to craft their own bill.

“It’s unfortunate that people with limited background have made that declaration,” Bohlinger, a Republican who serves with a Democratic governor, said.

At the time Bohlinger made these comments, the panel was working on the finishing touches on reforms to the workers’ compensation system that officials hope will save the state $131 million in rates.[3]

Montana legislature (1992-2004)

Bohlinger served three terms in the Montana House of Representatives and was then twice elected to the Montana State Senate. He resigned his Senate seat when he assumed the office of Lieutenant Governor.


Fundraiser for Walsh

Jon Tester and Max Baucus held a fundraiser in November 2013 for Democrat John Walsh, who will be running for Montana's U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Baucus will not be seeking re-election. The fundraiser will feature Democrat Chuck Schumer from New York. This fundraiser angered Democrat John Bohlinger, who will be challenging Walsh in the primary. He said, "I am really troubled by the involvement of the Washington insiders in a Montana Democratic senatorial primary race. They should have no business of trying to influence an outcome of an election here." Bohlinger continued to blast D.C. donors saying, "I’ll be raising money, but it will be far lesser amounts than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (of Washington, D.C.) will pour into Walsh’s campaign fund. Mine will be money that comes from Montanans. I’m really offended by the DSCC and their interest in this (primary)."[4]



See also: United States Senate elections in Montana, 2014

Bohlinger ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Montana. Bohlinger sought the Democratic nomination in the primary on June 3, 2014, but lost to incumbent John Walsh.

U.S. Senate, Montana Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Walsh Incumbent 64% 48,665
John Bohlinger 22.6% 17,187
Dirk Adams 13.3% 10,139
Total Votes 75,991
Source: Montana Secretary of State - Official Primary Results

A poll released in November 2013 by Public Policy Polling shows regardless of the candidate, Daines is likely to win the seat in 2014. In a match-up against Democrat John Walsh, Daines leads 52% to 35%. In a match-up against Bohlinger, Daines leads 51% to 36%.[5]


See also: Montana lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Bohinger did not run for re-election in 2012.


On November 4, 2008, Bohlinger easily won re-election as Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Brian Schweitzer.[6]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Montana, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schweitzer/John Bohlinger Incumbent 65.5% 318,670
     Republican Roy Brown/Steve Daines 32.5% 158,268
     Libertarian Stan Jones/Michael Baker 2% 9,796
Total Votes 486,734


On November 2, 2004, Bohlinger won election as Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Brian Schweitzer.[7]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Montana, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schweitzer/John Bohlinger 50.4% 225,016
     Republican Bob Brown/Dave Lewis 46% 205,313
     Green Bob Kelleher/Colleen Little Thunder 1.9% 8,393
     Libertarian Stanley Jones/Mike Kaszula 1.7% 7,424
Total Votes 446,146

Campaign donors

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 Brian Schweiter/John Bohlinger's donors each year.[8] Click [show] for more information.


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Bohlinger's reports.[9]

John Bohlinger (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End[10]January 30, 2014$0.00$22,490.42$(18,175.47)$4,314.95
April Quarterly[11]April 15, 2014$4,314.95$5,950.00$(3,992.74)$6,272.21
Running totals

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Political offices
Preceded by
Montana Lieutenant Governor
January 2005 – January 2013
Succeeded by
John E. Walsh (D)