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List of Governors of Montana: Wikis

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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] and 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 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;[8] this provision 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.[9] The 1889 constitution made the lieutenant governor president of the state senate,[10] but this provision was removed in the 1972 constitution.

Montana has had 23 governors, consisting of 14 Republicans and 9 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. 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 becoming a territory, Montana was part of Idaho Territory.

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Governors of Montana Territory

      Democratic       Republican

# Governor Term start Term end Appointed by Party Notes
1   Sidney Edgerton June 22, 1864 September 1865 Abraham Lincoln Republican
  Thomas Francis Meagher (acting) September 1865 October 1866 Democratic
2   Green Clay Smith October 1866 January 1867 Andrew Johnson Democratic
  Thomas Francis Meagher (acting) January 1867 July 1867 Democratic
2   Green Clay Smith July 1867 Summer 1898 Andrew Johnson Democratic
  James Tufts (acting) March 1869 April 9, 1869 Republican
3   James Mitchell Ashley April 9, 1869 December 1869 Ulysses S. Grant Republican [N 1]
4   Benjamin F. Potts July 13, 1870 January 14, 1883 Ulysses S. Grant Republican
5   John Schuyler Crosby January 15, 1883 December 15, 1884 Chester A. Arthur Republican
6   B. Platt Carpenter December 16, 1884 July 13, 1885 Chester A. Arthur Republican
7   Samuel Thomas Hauser July 14, 1885 February 7, 1887 Grover Cleveland Democratic
8   Preston Hopkins Leslie February 8, 1887 April 8, 1889 Grover Cleveland Democratic
9   Benjamin F. White April 9, 1889 November 8, 1889 Benjamin Harrison Republican

Governors of Montana

      Democratic       Republican

# Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Term Notes
1   Joseph K. Toole November 8, 1889 January 1, 1893 Democratic   John E. Rickards 1
2   John E. Rickards January 2, 1893 January 3, 1897 Republican   Alexander C. Botkin 2
3   Robert Burns Smith January 4, 1897 January 7, 1901 Democratic   A.E. Spriggs 3
4   Joseph K. Toole January 7, 1901 April 1, 1908 Democratic   Frank G. Higgins 4 [N 2]
  Edwin L. Norris 5
5   Edwin L. Norris April 1, 1908 January 5, 1913 Democratic   Benjamin F. White [N 3]
  William R. Allen 6
6   Sam V. Stewart January 6, 1913 January 2, 1921 Democratic   W.W. McDowell 7
8
7   Joseph M. Dixon January 3, 1921 January 4, 1925 Republican   Nelson Story, Jr. 9
8   John Edward Erickson January 4, 1925 March 13, 1933 Democratic   W. S. McCormack 10 [N 4]
  Frank A. Hazelbaker 11
  Frank Henry Cooney 12
9   Frank Henry Cooney March 13, 1933 December 15, 1935 Democratic   Tom Kane [N 5][N 6]
  Ernest T. Eaton
  Elmer Holt
10   Elmer Holt December 15, 1935 January 4, 1937 Democratic   William P. Pilgeram [N 7]
11   Roy E. Ayers January 4, 1937 January 6, 1941 Democratic   Hugh R. Adair 13
12   Sam C. Ford January 6, 1941 January 3, 1949 Republican   Ernest T. Eaton 14
15
13   John W. Bonner January 3, 1949 January 5, 1953 Democratic   Paul Cannon 16
14   J. Hugo Aronson January 5, 1953 January 2, 1961 Republican   George M. Gosman 17
  Paul Cannon 18
15   Donald Grant Nutter January 2, 1961 January 25, 1962 Republican   Tim M. Babcock 19 [N 6]
16   Tim M. Babcock January 25, 1962 January 6, 1969 Republican   David F. James [N 3]
  Ted James 20
17   Forrest H. Anderson January 6, 1969 January 1, 1973 Democratic   Thomas Lee Judge 21
18   Thomas Lee Judge January 1, 1973 January 5, 1981 Democratic   Bill Christiansen 22
  Ted Schwinden 23
19   Ted Schwinden January 5, 1981 January 2, 1989 Democratic   George Turman 24
25
20   Stan Stephens January 2, 1989 January 4, 1993 Republican   Allen Kolstad 26  
 
  Denny Rehberg
21   Marc Racicot January 4, 1993 January 1, 2001 Republican 27
  Judy Martz 28
22   Judy Martz January 1, 2001 January 3, 2005 Republican   Karl Ohs 29
23   Brian Schweitzer January 3, 2005 Incumbent Democratic   John Bohlinger[N 8] 30 [N 9]
31

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 offices that the governor resigned to take.

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

Living former governors

As of December 2009, 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.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Tim M. Babcock 1962–1969 October 27, 1919 (1919-10-27) (age 90)
Ted Schwinden 1981–1989 August 31, 1925 (1925-08-31) (age 84)
Stan Stephens 1989–1993 September 16, 1929 (1929-09-16) (age 80)
Marc Racicot 1993–2001 July 24, 1948 (1948-07-24) (age 61)
Judy Martz 2001–2005 July 28, 1943 (1943-07-28) (age 66)

Notes

  1. ^ Was removed from office by President Ulysses S. Grant in mid-December 1869 for unclear reasons.[11]
  2. ^ Resigned due to declining health.
  3. ^ a b As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
  4. ^ Resigned so that his successor would appoint him to the United States Senate.
  5. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  6. ^ a b Died in office.
  7. ^ As president of the state senate, filled unexpired term.
  8. ^ Republican elected on the Democratic ticket.
  9. ^ Governor Schweitzer's first term expired in 2009; he is not yet term limited.

References

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ a b Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 4.
  2. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 7.
  3. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 10.
  4. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 11.
  5. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 12.
  6. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 1.
  7. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article IV, Section 8.
  8. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 1.
  9. ^ Constitution of Montana, Article VI, Section 14.
  10. ^ Constitution of Montana (1889), Article VII, Section 1.
  11. ^ Spence, Clark C. (Spring 1968). "Spoilsman in Montana: James M. Ashley." Montana: The Magazine of Western History 18 (2): 33. Montana Historical Society. ISSN 0026-9891.

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