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Rick Hill (Montana)

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Rick Hill
Rick Hill.png
Candidate for
Governor of Montana
Prior offices
U.S. Congress
High schoolAitkin Secondary (1964)
Bachelor'sSt. Cloud University (1968)
J.D.Concord Law School (2005)
Date of birthDecember 30, 1946
Place of birthGrand Rapids, Minnesota
Personal website
Campaign website
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Rick Hill (b. December 30, 1946) is a former Congressman, and was the Republican candidate for Governor of Montana in the 2012 gubernatorial election. He ran on a ticket with Jon Sonju.[1]


Hill is a retired insurance company executive. He served in the U.S. Congress from 1997-2001, retiring due to vision problems.[2]


  • Aitkin Secondary, 1964
  • St. Cloud University, 1968
  • Concord Law School, 2005



See also: Montana gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Hill was the Republican candidate for Governor of Montana in 2012. He and his running mate, state Senator Jon Sonju, defeated Bob Fanning, Neil Livingstone, Jim Lynch, Ken Miller, Jim O'Hara and Corey Stapleton in the June 5th primary election.[3]

Hill lost against Steve Bullock (D), Ron Vandevender (L) and Bill Coate (I) 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.[4]

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, Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRick Hill & Jon Sonju 34.4% 46,802
Corey Stapleton & Bob Keenan 18.1% 24,661
Ken Miller & Bill Gallagher 18% 24,496
Jim O'Hara & Scott Swingley 12.2% 16,653
Neil Livingstone & Ryan Zinke 8.8% 12,038
Jim Lynch & Al Olszewski 6.1% 8,323
Bob Fanning & Joel Boniek 2.3% 3,087
Total Votes 136,060
Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.


Hill "is pro-life, supports traditional marriage and opposes radical sex education" in Montana's schools. On his campaign website, he highlighted the following areas:

  • Jobs & the economy: Cutting taxes, priority budgeting, improving property rights, benefiting from Montana's natural resource wealth, putting Montana first[5]
  • Agriculture: "I stand in firm support of private property rights and eliminating government interference in property management, both from the state and federal government... I will fight to ensure that Montana's agricultural products are competitive in the world marketplace."[6]
  • Responsible government Lowering taxes and responsible spending[7]
  • Energy & natural resources: Hill wants to utilize Montana's oil and gas reserve "to their full extent" and "work to minimize frivolous lawsuits and restrictive federal regulations that inhibit development."[8]
  • Conservative values: Hill is a "strong advocate of preserving Second Amendment rights," believes that "life begins at the moment of conception," and believes the "federal government continues to grasp for power that rightfully lies with the state of Montana and the individuals that reside here."[9]
  • Education: Hill supports a diversified curriculum to meet the needs of individual students, ensuring that "funding is available to hire the brightest instructors and purchase the most advanced equipment to elevate education in Montana," expanding the number charter schools and implementing a voucher system[10]
  • Wolf Management: Hill pledges his administration will implement a plan that would create two zones: a wolf aggressive management zone in Western Montana and a wolf no tolerance zone in Central and Eastern Montana.[11]

Hill is opposed to all abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk.[12]

Campaign donors


Hill lost the election to the position of Governor of Montana in 2012. During that election cycle, Hill raised a total of $2,316,821.

Disputed donation

In mid-October 2012, the Montana Republican Party donated $500,000 to Hill's campaign for governor. His opponent, Steve Bullock (D), said accepting the donation was a crime. "It shows that he's going to go to any level, including taking illegal contributions, to win the election. This is a serious violation. It's a $500,000 violation of Montana's laws. There certainly could be implications beyond the election," Bullock stated.[13]

On October 18, Bullock filed a lawsuit against Hill, asking a district judge to require Hill to return the donation. Hill’s campaign manager Brock Lowrance responded, “Bullock’s wild accusations about a legal campaign contribution is a desperate move by a panicked campaign trying to gain headlines.”[14]

Montana District Judge Kathy Seeley issued a restraining order on October 24, forcing Hill to temporarily stop spending the disputed money and cancel all pending ads purchased with it. Following oral arguments on October 29, Seeley issued a preliminary injunction in case, effectively keeping Hill from spending the money prior to the November 6 election.[15][16]

Bullock dropped the lawsuit on December 21, 2012. [17]


Hill and his wife Betti have three sons.[18]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Montana Secretary of State, "2012 Candidate filing list: Non-legislative," accessed March 12, 2012
  2. Missolian, "Former GOP U.S. Rep. Rick Hill to run for Montana governor," November 6, 2010
  3. Associated Press, "Montana primary election, unofficial results," accessed June 6, 2012
  4. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  5. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Jobs and the economy," accessed June 5, 2012
  6. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Agriculture," accessed June 5, 2012
  7. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Responsible Government," accessed June 5, 2012
  8. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Energy & natural resource development," accessed June 5, 2012
  9. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Conservative values," accessed June 5, 2012
  10. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Education," accessed June 5, 2012
  11. Rick Hill 2012.com, "Issues: Wolf management," accessed June 5, 2012
  12. Missoulian, "Montana governor candidates criticize each other in wake of politician's rape comments," August 20, 2012
  13. Independent Record, "Montana GOP donates $500K to Hill campaign," October 17, 2012
  14. Missoulian, "Bullock files suit over GOP's $500K donation to Hill," October 19, 2012
  15. Ravalli Republic, "Governor's race: Hill told to stop spending disputed $500K," October 25, 2012
  16. The Republic, "Judge's block on $500,000 donation to Rick Hill to remain through election, barring appeal," October 31, 2012
  17. KFBB, "Bullock Drops Lawsuit," December 21, 2012
  18. Rick Hill, "About," accessed August 25, 2012