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John Patrick Williams

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's 1st and At-large district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Max Baucus
New district
Succeeded by Elected statewide at-large
Rick Hill

Born October 30, 1937 (1937-10-30) (age 72)
Helena, Montana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carol Williams

John Patrick "Pat" Williams (b. October 30, 1937, Helena, Montana) is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Montana during the years 19791997.

Williams attended the University of Montana in Missoula, William Jewell College and the University of Denver, Colorado, earning a B.A. In 1961–1969 he was a member of the National Guard in Colorado and Montana and was a teacher in Butte, Montana.


Political career

In 1966 Williams was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in District 23 of Silver Bow County, winning reelection in 1968. During the years 1969–1971 he served as the executive assistant to Montana Representative John Melcher. Williams was a member of the Governor's Employment and Training Council from 1972 to 1978 and served on the Montana Reapportionment Commission from 1972 to 1973.

In 1974 Williams ran an unsuccessful primary election campaign against now Senator Max Baucus for the Democratic Party nomination for Montana's U.S. House 1st District Representative. Baucus would win the November elections defeating Republican Dick Shoup. In 1978 Williams ran a successful primary campaign against Dorothy Bradley to win the Democratic nomination for the 1st District of Montana. In November Williams defeated Republican Jim Waltermire in one of Montana's largest door-to-door campaigns, and winning 57% percent of the vote, getting elected to the 96th U.S. Congress.


In 1980 Williams won reelection against Jack McDonald with 61% of the vote; in 1982 against Bob Davies with 60%; in 1984 against Gary Carlson with 67%; in 1986 against Don Allen with 62%, 1988 against Jim Fenlason with 61%; in 1990 against Brad Johnson. In 1992 Montana lost its second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, leaving Williams to campaign against fellow incumbent Ron Marlenee. Williams narrowly won with 51% of the vote. In 1994 he was elected to his ninth and final term, defeating Cy Jamison with 49% of Montana's votes. He chose not to run for reelection in 1996; Republican Rick Hill defeated Bill Yellowtail to become Montana's new U.S. Representative that year.


Pat Williams played a pivotal role in the preservation of Wilderness Areas, aiming to protect current wilderness from the Wilderness Act of 1964 and extend the Act to cover further National Forest lands. Williams also campaigned on higher taxes for large corporations and cutting defense spending to lower the federal deficit.

Recent history

After leaving congress in 1997 Williams returned to Montana and has become a part of several projects and organizations, mostly in Missoula, Montana, where he is currently an instructor at the University of Montana.

Williams is Senior Felony and Regional Policy associate at the Center for the Rocky Mountain West and he serves on the Boards of Directors for the National Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges,[1] the National Association of Job Corps, and The President's Advisory Commission for Tribal Colleges.[2] Williams was on the board of directors of the Student Loan Marketing Association, the now disbanded GSE subsidiary of U.S.A. Education (Sallie Mae). Williams also writes newspaper columns on occasion.[3] Williams' wife Carol was elected to a seat in the Montana House of Representatives in 1999 and later to a seat in the Montana State Senate. She currently serves as Majority Leader in that body.

Williams is currently an organizer of the new progressive policy institute Western Progress.

External links


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Max Baucus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's 1st congressional district

Elected statewide at-large
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Rick Hill


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