List of Governors of Montana

Governor of Montana
Montana-StateSeal.svg
Seal of the State of Montana
Incumbent
Brian Schweitzer

since January 03, 2005
Style The Honorable
Residence Montana Governor's Residence
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Joseph K. Toole
Formation 1889; Montana Constitution
Succession Every four years, unless re-elected.

The Governor of Montana is the head of the executive branch of Montana's government[1] and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[2] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws,[1] the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Montana State Legislature,[3] to convene the legislature at any time,[4] and to grant pardons and reprieves.[5]

The current Montana Constitution, ratified in 1972, calls for a four-year term for the governor, commencing on the first Monday in the January following an election.[6] The governor is term-limited to 8 years in any 16-year period.[7] The constitution provides for the election of a lieutenant governor for the same term as the governor. The two offices are elected on the same ticket;[6] a provision which did not appear in the state's first constitution, ratified in 1889. In the event of a vacancy in the office of governor due to resignation, disqualification, or death, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term. If the governor is unable to perform his duties for any other reason, the lieutenant governor may become acting governor at the discretion of the state legislature.[8] The 1889 constitution made the lieutenant governor president of the state senate,[9] but this provision was removed in the 1972 constitution.

Montana has had 22 governors, consisting of 9 Republicans and 13 Democrats. The longest-serving governor was John Edward Erickson, who was elected three times and served from 1925 to 1933 before resigning to become a U.S. senator, only two months into his third term. The shortest-serving governor was Elmer Holt, who served less than 13 months when the previous governor died. The current governor is Democrat Brian Schweitzer, who took office on January 3, 2005 and is serving his second term.

Contents

Governors

Prior to the creation of Montana Territory (1864–1889), various parts of what is now Montana were parts of Oregon Territory (1848–1859), Washington Territory (1853–1863), Idaho Territory (1863–1864), and Dakota Territory (1861–1864).

Governors of Montana Territory

Officer with moustache in dark dress military uniform with long coat
Two-time acting governor Thomas Frances Meagher, circa 1865
Older man with gray beard and dark suit with bow tie and white shirt
Governor Samuel Hauser in March 1891

NOTE: Term dates are for the full term of office, see notes column for clarification of dates about actually serving as governor.

Dem Democrat Rep Republican UNK = Unknown

Governors of Montana Territory
# Governor Party Term start Term end Appointed by Notes
1 Edgerton, SidneySidney Edgerton Rep 01864-06-22 June 22, 1864 01866-07-12 July 12, 1866 Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln Did not find out he had been appointed right away; left the state in September 1865 and did not return for 25 years
Meagher (acting), Thomas FrancisThomas Francis Meagher (acting) Dem 01865-09 September 1865 01866-10-03 October 3, 1866 Also filled in for Smith as Smith had gone back to the east coast[10][11][12][13]
2 Smith, Green ClayGreen Clay Smith Dem 01866-07-13 July 13, 1866 01867-01 January 1867 Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson Did not actually assume office until October 1866
Meagher (acting), Thomas FrancisThomas Francis Meagher (acting) Dem 01866-12 December 1866 01867-07-01 July 1, 1867 [10][11][12][13]
2 Smith, Green ClayGreen Clay Smith Dem 01867-07-02 July 2, 1867 01869-04-09 April 9, 1869 Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson Apparenlty became non-functioning as governor in summer 1868
Tufts (acting), JamesJames Tufts (acting) Rep 01869-03 March 1869 01869-04-09 April 9, 1869 Possibly from late 1868
3 Ashley, James MitchellJames Mitchell Ashley Rep 01869-04-09 April 9, 1869 01870-07-12 July 12, 1870 Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant Removed from office by President Ulysses S. Grant in mid-December 1869 for unclear reasons.[14]
Scribner (acting), WileyWiley Scribner (acting) UNK 01869-12 December 1869 01870-08 August 1870 Party affiliation unknown
4 Potts, Benjamin F.Benjamin F. Potts Rep 01870-07-13 July 13, 1870 01883-01-14 January 14, 1883 Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant
5 Crosby, John SchuylerJohn Schuyler Crosby Rep 01883-01-15 January 15, 1883 01884-12-15 December 15, 1884 Arthur, Chester A.Chester A. Arthur
6 Carpenter, B. PlattB. Platt Carpenter Rep 01884-12-16 December 16, 1884 01885-07-13 July 13, 1885 Arthur, Chester A.Chester A. Arthur
7 Hauser, Samuel ThomasSamuel Thomas Hauser Dem 01885-07-14 July 14, 1885 01887-02-07 February 7, 1887 Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland
8 Leslie, Preston HopkinsPreston Hopkins Leslie Dem 01887-02-08 February 8, 1887 01889-04-08 April 8, 1889 Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland
9 White, Benjamin F.Benjamin F. White Rep 01889-04-09 April 9, 1889 01889-11-08 November 8, 1889 Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison

Governors of Montana

Man with moustache in dark jacket and die with white collar, facing left
Joseph Kemp Toole, first and fourth governor of the state of Montana
File:Marc-Racicot.jpg
Marc Racicot, twenty-first governor of Montana

Dem Democrat Rep Republican

Governors of Montana
# Governor Party Took office Left office Lt. Governor and Term Notes
1 Toole, JosephJoseph Toole Dem 01889-11-08 November 8, 1889 01893-01-01 January 1, 1893 [15]
2 Rickards, John E.John E. Rickards Rep 01893-01-02 January 2, 1893 01897-01-03 January 3, 1897
  • Alexander C. Botkin (Rep) – 2
3 Smith, Robert BurnsRobert Burns Smith Dem 01897-01-04 January 4, 1897 01901-01-07 January 7, 1901
  • A. E. Spriggs (Dem) – 3
4 Toole, JosephJoseph Toole Dem 01901-01-07 January 7, 1901 01908-04-01 April 1, 1908 Resigned due to declining health.
5 Norris, Edwin L.Edwin L. Norris Dem 01908-04-01 April 1, 1908 01913-01-05 January 5, 1913
  • Benjamin F. White (Rep) – 5
  • William R. Allen (Rep) - 6
As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
6 Stewart, Sam V.Sam V. Stewart Dem 01913-01-06 January 6, 1913 01921-01-02 January 2, 1921
  • W. W. McDowell (Dem) - 7, 8
7 Dixon, Joseph M.Joseph M. Dixon Rep 01921-01-03 January 3, 1921 01925-01-04 January 4, 1925
  • Nelson Story, Jr. (Rep) - 9
[16]
8 Erickson, John E.John E. Erickson Dem 01925-01-04 January 4, 1925 01933-03-13 March 13, 1933 Resigned so that his successor would appoint him to the United States Senate.
9 Cooney, Frank HenryFrank Henry Cooney Dem 01933-03-13 March 13, 1933 01935-12-15 December 15, 1935
  • Tom Kane (Rep) - 12
  • Ernest T. Eaton (Rep) - 12
  • Elmer Holt (Dem) - 12
As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term. Died in office while governor.
10 Holt, ElmerElmer Holt Dem 01935-12-15 December 15, 1935 01937-01-04 January 4, 1937
  • William P. Pilgeram (Dem) - 12
As president of the state senate, filled unexpired term.
11 Ayers, Roy E.Roy E. Ayers Dem 01937-01-04 January 4, 1937 01941-01-06 January 6, 1941
  • Hugh R. Adair (Dem) - 13
12 Ford, Sam C.Sam C. Ford Rep 01941-01-06 January 6, 1941 01949-01-03 January 3, 1949
  • Ernest T. Eaton (Rep) - 14, 15
13 Bonner, John W.John W. Bonner Dem 01949-01-03 January 3, 1949 01953-01-05 January 5, 1953
  • Paul Cannon (Dem) - 16
14 Aronson, J. HugoJ. Hugo Aronson Rep 01953-01-05 January 5, 1953 01961-01-02 January 2, 1961
  • George M. Gosman (Rep) - 17
  • Paul Cannon (Dem) - 18
[17]
15 Nutter, Donald GrantDonald Grant Nutter Rep 01961-01-02 January 2, 1961 01962-01-25 January 25, 1962 Died in office.
16 Babcock, Tim M.Tim M. Babcock Rep 01962-01-25 January 25, 1962 01969-01-06 January 6, 1969
  • David F. James (Dem) - 19
  • Ted James (Rep) - 20
As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
17 Anderson, Forrest H.Forrest H. Anderson Dem 01969-01-06 January 6, 1969 01973-01-01 January 1, 1973
18 Judge, Thomas LeeThomas Lee Judge Dem 01973-01-01 January 1, 1973 01981-01-05 January 5, 1981
19 Schwinden, TedTed Schwinden Dem 01981-01-05 January 5, 1981 01989-01-02 January 2, 1989
  • George Turman (Dem) - 24, 25
20 Stephens, StanStan Stephens Rep 01989-01-02 January 2, 1989 01993-01-04 January 4, 1993
21 Racicot, MarcMarc Racicot Rep 01993-01-04 January 4, 1993 02001-01-01 January 1, 2001 [18][19]
22 Martz, JudyJudy Martz Rep 02001-01-01 January 1, 2001 02005-01-03 January 3, 2005 [20]
23 Schweitzer, BrianBrian Schweitzer Dem 02005-01-03 January 3, 2005 Incumbent Governor Schweitzer's second term expires in 2013; he is term limited.[21]

Other high offices held

This is a table of the higher federal offices and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators represented Montana. * denotes cases where the governor resigned the governship to accept the other office.

Other high offices held by Montanans
Name Gubernatorial term Higher offices held
Toole, JosephJoseph Toole 1889–1893, 1901–1908 Territorial Delegate
Dixon, Joseph M.Joseph M. Dixon 1921–1925 U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator
Erickson, John EdwardJohn Edward Erickson 1925–1933 U.S. Senator*
Ayers, Roy E.Roy E. Ayers 1937–1941 U.S. Representative

Living former governors

As of April 2011, five former governors are alive, the oldest being Tim M. Babcock (1962–1969, born 1919). The most recent governor to die was Thomas Lee Judge (1973–1981), on September 8, 2006.

Living former governors of Montana
Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Babcock, Tim M.Tim M. Babcock 1962–1969 October 27, 1919 (1919-10-27) (age 92)
Schwinden, TedTed Schwinden 1981–1989 August 31, 1925 (1925-08-31) (age 86)
Stephens, StanStan Stephens 1989–1993 September 16, 1929 (1929-09-16) (age 82)
Racicot, MarcMarc Racicot 1993–2001 July 24, 1948 (1948-07-24) (age 63)
Martz, JudyJudy Martz 2001–2005 July 28, 1943 (1943-07-28) (age 68)

Notes

References

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ a b Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 4.
  2. ^ Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 7.
  3. ^ Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 10.
  4. ^ Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 11.
  5. ^ Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 12.
  6. ^ a b Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 1.
  7. ^ Montana Constitution, Article IV, Section 8.
  8. ^ Montana Constitution, Article VI, Section 14.
  9. ^ Montana Constitution (1889), Article VII, Section 1.
  10. ^ a b Wylie, Paul R. (2007). The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 252–272, 303–312, 365–375. ISBN 978-0806138473. http://books.google.com/books?id=QaLtw7gUkf0C&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274&dq=green+clay+smith+tufts#v=snippet&q=governor%201867&f=false. 
  11. ^ a b "A Memorial to Thomas Francis Meagher on the Levee at Fort Benton, Montana" (PDF). Hibernian. http://www.hibernian.org/assets/pdfs/16331%20AOH%20Memorial%20Booklet.pdf. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Montana Vigilantes". Montana Travel. http://visitmt.com/history/montana_the_magazine_of_western_history/montanavigilantes2.htm. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Burnham, Patricia M.; Susan R. Near (2002). Montana's State Capitol - The People's House. Montana Historical Society. p. 80. ISBN 978-0917298837. http://www.nwhistorycourse.org/ttcourse/Year1/unit5/week14/peoplemeagher2.htm. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  14. ^ Spence, Clark C. (Spring 1968). "Spoilsman in Montana: James M. Ashley". Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Montana Historical Society) 18 (2): 24–35. 
  15. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Joseph K. Toole". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers2/toole.html. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  16. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Joseph M. Dixon". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers1/dixon.html. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  17. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: J. Hugo Aronson". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers3/aronson.html. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Charles (December 20, 2001). "The GOP's New Lobbyist in Chief". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A3911-2001Dec19. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  19. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Marc Racicot". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers3/racicot.html. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  20. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Judy Martz". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers5/martz.html. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Brian Schweitzer". Great Falls Tribune. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers6/schweitzer.html. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 

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