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Montana Legislative Leadership
1889 - Present

Names of legislative leaders are followed by their party affiliation and town or county of residence. Note that, before 1974, the lieutenant governor also served as Senate president.

D = Democrat
R = Republican

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Senate

Session
Senate President
President Pro Tem
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
2013

Jeff Essmann - R

Debby Barrett - R Art Wittich - R Jon Sesso - D
2011

Jim Peterson
R-Buffalo

Bruce Tutvedt
R-Kalispell
Jeff Essmann
R-Billings
Carol Williams
D-Missoula
2009

Robert Story
R-Park City

Dan McGee
R-Laurel
Jim Peterson
R-Buffalo
Carol Williams
D-Missoula

2007

Mike Cooney
D-Helena
Dan Harrington
D-Butte
Carol Williams
D-Missoula
Corey Stapleton
R-Billings
2005

Jon Tester
D-Big Sandy

Dan Harrington
D-Butte
Jon Ellingson
D-Missoula
Bob Keenan
R-Bigfork
2003

Bob Keenan
R-Bigfork

Walter McNutt
R-Sidney
Fred Thomas
R-Stevensville
Jon Tester
D-Big Sandy
2001

Tom Beck
R-Deer Lodge

Walter McNutt
R-Sidney
Fred Thomas
R-Stevensville
Steve Doherty
D-Great Falls
1999

Bruce Crippen
R-Billings

Tom Beck
R-Deer Lodge
John Harp
R-Kalispell
Steve Doherty
D-Great Falls
1997

Gary Aklestad
R-Galata

Bruce Crippen
R-Billings
John Harp
R-Kalispell
Mike Halligan
D-Missoula
1995

Bob Brown
R-Whitefish

Gary Aklestad
R-Galata
John Harp
R-Kalispell
Mike Halligan
D-Missoula
1993

Fred Van Valkenburg
D-Missoula

J.D. Lynch
D-Butte
Greg Jergeson
D-Chinook
Bruce Crippen
R-Billings
1991

Joe Mazurek
D-Helena

J.D. Lynch
D-Butte
Fred Van Valkenburg
D-Missoula
Bruce Crippen
R-Billings
1989

Jack Galt
R-Martinsdale

Matt Himsl
R-Kalispell
Delwyn Gage
R-Cut Bank
Bill Norman
D-Missoula
1987

Bill Norman
D-Missoula

George McCallum
R-Niarada

Fred Van Valkenburg
D-Missoula

Gary Aklestad
R-Galata
1985

Bill Norman
D-Missoula

Chet Blaylock
D-Laurel
Fred Van Valkenburg
D-Missoula
Stan Stephens
R-Havre
1983

Stan Stephens
R-Havre

Allen Kolstad
R-Chester
Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon
Chet Blaylock
D-Laurel
1981

Jean Turnage
R-Polson

Allen Kolstad
R-Chester
Stan Stephens
R-Havre
Chet Blaylock
D-Laurel
Session
Senate President
President Pro Tem
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
1979

William Mathers
R-Miles City

Allen Kolstad
R-Chester
Stan Stephens
R-Havre
Chet Blaylock
D-Laurel
1977

W. Gordon McOmber
D-Fairfield

Cornie Thiessen
D-Lambert
Terry Murphy
D-Cardwell
Jean Turnage
R-Polson
1975

W. Gordon McOmber
D-Fairfield

Carroll Graham
D-Lodge Grass
Neil Lynch
D-Butte
Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon
1974
W. Gordon McOmber
D-Fairfield
P.J. Keenan
D-Anaconda
Neil Lynch
D-Butte
Jim Moore
R-Two Dot
1973

Bill Christiansen*
D-Hardin

Cornie Thiessen
D-Lambert
Neil Lynch
D-Butte
Jim Moore
R-Two Dot
1971

Tom Judge
D-Helena

William Hafferman
D-Libby
Dick Dzivi
D-Great Falls
William Mathers
R-Miles City
1969

Tom Judge
D-Helena

Gordon McGowan
D-Highwood
Eugene Mahoney
D-Thompson Falls
James Haughey
R-Billings
1967

Ted James
R-Great Falls

Edward Dussault
D-Missoula
Eugene Mahoney
D-Thompson Falls
Jean Turnage
R-Polson
1965

Ted James
R-Great Falls

Eugene Mahoney
D-Thompson Falls
Edward Dussault
D-Missoula
Sumner Gerard
R-Ennis
1963

None**

David James
D-Joplin

William Groff
D-Victor
J.S. Brenner
R-Grant
1961

Tim Babcock
R-Billings

Richard Nixon
D-Hogeland
Richard Nixon
D-Hogeland
 
1959

Paul Cannon
D-Butte

David James
D-Joplin
David James
D-Joplin
Rex Hibbs
R-Billings
1957

Paul Cannon
D-Butte

David James
D-Joplin
David James
D-Joplin
Donovan Worden
R-Missoula
1955

George Gosman
R-Beaverhead Co

Glenn Larson
R-Thompson Falls
Glenn Larson
R-Thompson Falls
 
1953

George Gosman
R-Beaverhead Co

Donovan Worden
R-Missoula
Donovan Worden
R-Missoula
 
1951

Paul Cannon
D-Butte

Charles Mahoney
R-Jordan
Charles Mahoney
R-Jordan
 
Session
Senate President
President Pro Tem
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
1949

Paul Cannon
D-Butte

G.M. Moss
R-Whitefish
G.M. Moss
R-Whitefish
 
1947

Ernest Eaton
R-Polytechnic

Tom Burke
R-Billings
Tom Burke
R-Billings
 
1945

Ernest Eaton
R-Polytechnic

H.A. Simmons
R-Red Lodge
H.A. Simmons
R-Red Lodge
 
1943

Ernest Eaton
R-Polytechnic

W.E. Keeley
R-Deer Lodge
W.E. Keeley
R-Deer Lodge
 
1941

Ernest Eaton
R-Polytechnic

W.E. Keeley
R-Deer Lodge
   
1939

Hugh Adair
D-Lewis & Clark Co

Leonard Plank
D-Chester
   
1937

Hugh Adair
D-Lewis & Clark Co

Leonard Plank
D-Chester
Harry Meyer
D-Butte
 
1935

Ernest Eaton***
R-Polytechnic

W. Elmer Holt
D-Miles City

   
1933

Frank Cooney
D-Missoula

Tom Kane
R-Corvallis
   
1931

Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon

Tom Kane
R-Corvallis
   
1929

Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon

Tom Kane
R-Corvallis
   
1927

W.S. McCormack
R-Flathead Co

James Griffin
R-Chinook
   
1925

W.S. McCormack
R-Flathead Co

Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon
   
1923

Nelson Story, Jr.
R-Gallatin Co

W.E. Harmon
R-Bozeman
   
1921

Nelson Story, Jr.
R-Gallatin Co

R.P. Heren
R-Miles City
   
Session
Senate President
President Pro Tem
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
1919

W.W. McDowell
D-Silver Bow Co

John Edwards
R-Forsyth
   
1917

W.W. McDowell
D-Silver Bow Co

John Edwards
R-Forsyth
   
1915

W.W. McDowell
D-Silver Bow Co

John Edwards
R-Forsyth
   
1913

W.W. McDowell
D-Silver Bow Co

Charles Muffly
D-Winston
   
1911

William Allen
R-Deer Lodge

Edward Donlan
R-Missoula
   
1909

William Allen
R-Deer Lodge

T.M. Everett
R-Harlem
   
1907

Edwin Norris
D-Beaverhead Co

Benjamin White
R-Dillon
   
1905

Edwin Norris
D-Beaverhead Co

Benjamin White
R-Dillon
   
1903

Frank Higgins
D-Missoula

Wesley Biggs
D-Helena
   
1901

Frank Higgins
D-Missoula

G.H. Stanton
D-Great Falls
   
1899

Archibald Spriggs
Populist-Meagher Co

Thomas Cullen
D-Glendive
   
1897

Archibald Spriggs
Populist-Meagher Co

     
1895

Alexander Botkin
R-Lewis & Clark Co

     
1893

Alexander Botkin
R-Lewis & Clark Co

Elmer Matts
D-Missoula
   
1891

John Rickards
R-Silver Bow Co

William Thornton
D-Anaconda
   
1889

John Rickards
R-Silver Bow Co

     

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House

Session
House Speaker
Speaker Pro Tem
Majority Leader Minority Leader
2013 Mark Blasdel - R Austin Knudsen - R Gordon Vance - R Chuck Hunter - D
2011 Mike Milburn
R-Cascade
Janna Taylor
R-Dayton
Tom McGillvray
R-Billings
Jon Sesso
D-Butte
2009 Bob Bergren
D-Havre
Franke Wilmer
D-Bozeman
Margarett Campbell
D-Poplar
Scott Sales
R-Bozeman

2007

Scott Sales
R-Bozeman
Debby Barrett
R-Dillon
Michael Lange
R-Billings
John Parker
D-Great Falls
2005
Gary Matthews
D-Miles City

None

House Leaders:
Dave Wanzenried
D-Missoula
Roy Brown
R-Billings

Floor Leaders:
Michael Lange
R-Billings
John Parker
D-Great Falls

2003

Doug Mood
R-Seeley Lake

Jeff Laszloffy
R-Laurel
Roy Brown
R-Billings
Dave Wanzenried
D-Missoula
2001

Dan McGee
R-Laurel

Doug Mood
R-Seeley Lake
Paul Sliter
R-Somers
Kim Gillan
D-Billings
1999

John Mercer
R-Polson

Doug Mood
R-Seeley Lake
Larry Grinde
R-Lewistown
Emily Swanson
D-Bozeman
1997

John Mercer
R-Polson

Marian Hanson
R-Ashland
Larry Grinde
R-Lewistown
Vicki Cocchiarella
D-Missoula
1995

John Mercer
R-Polson

Marian Hanson
R-Ashland
Larry Grinde
R-Lewistown
Ray Peck
D-Havre
1993

John Mercer
R-Polson

Marian Hanson
R-Ashland
Larry Grinde
R-Lewistown
Ted Schye
D-Glasgow
1991

Hal Harper
D-Helena

Dave Brown
D-Butte
Jerry Driscoll
D-Billings
John Mercer
R-Polson
1989

John Vincent
D-Bozeman

Kelly Addy
D-Billings
Hal Harper
D-Helena
Jack Ramirez
R-Billings
1987

Bob Marks
R-Clancy

Dennis Iverson
R-Whitlash
Thomas Hannah
R-Billings
John Vincent
D-Bozeman
1985

John Vincent
D-Bozeman

House Republican Leader:
Bob Marks
Clancy

Hal Harper
D-Helena

Jack Ramirez
R-Billings
1983

Dan Kemmis
D-Missoula

Joe Brand
D-Deer Lodge
John Vincent
D-Bozeman
Bob Marks
R-Clancy
1981

Bob Marks
R-Clancy

Art Lund
R-Scobey
Harrison Fagg
R-Billings
Dan Kemmis
D-Missoula
Session
House Speaker
Speaker Pro Tem
Majority Leader Minority Leader
1979

Harold Gerke
D-Billings

Joe Brand
D-Deer Lodge
Ann Mary Dussault
D-Missoula
Jack Ramirez
R-Billings
1977

John Driscoll
D-Hamilton

Joe Brand
D-Deer Lodge
Peter "Mike" Meloy
D-Helena
Bob Marks
R-Clancy
1975

Pat McKittrick
D-Great Falls

Francis Bardanouve
D-Harlem
John Driscoll
D-Hamilton
Lloyd Lockrem, Jr.
R-Billings
1974
Harold Gerke
D-Billings
None
Larry Fasbender
D-Fort Shaw
Oscar Kvaalen
R-Lambert
1973

Harold Gerke
D-Billings

Walter Laas
D-Chester
Larry Fasbender
D-Fort Shaw
Oscar Kvaalen
R-Lambert
1971

James Lucas
R-Miles City

John Pierce
R-Billings
James Harrison, Jr.
R-Helena
Bill Christiansen
D-Hardin
1969

James Lucas
R-Miles City

Tom Haines
R-Missoula
William Mather
R-Billings
John Hall
D-Great Falls
1967

James Felt
R-Billings

John Leuthold
R-Molt
James Lucas
R-Miles City
Gordon Twedt
D-Rudyard
1965

Ray Wayrynen
D-Butte

Gordon Twedt
D-Rudyard
Charles Cerovski
D-Lewistown
James Lucas
R-Miles City
1963

Frank Hazelbaker
R-Dillon

Fred Broeder, Jr.
R-Kalispell
Alex Blewett, Jr.
R-Great Falls
 
1961

Clyde Hawks
R-St. Xavier

Tom Haines
R-Missoula
Jerome Anderson
R-Billings
 
1959

John MacDonald
D-Jordan

John Emmons
D-Anaconda
Charles Cerovski
D-Lewistown
Sumner Gerard
R-Ennis
1957

Eugene Mahoney
D-Thompson Falls

John MacDonald
D-Jordan
Fred Barrett
D-Chester
R.F. Juedeman
R-Shelby
1955

Leo Graybill
D-Great Falls

John Emmons
D-Anaconda
Eugene Mahoney
D-Thompson Falls
 
1953

Dean Chaffin
R-Bozeman

R.H. Gebhardt
R-Billings
R.H. Wiedman
R-Polson
 
1951

Ory Armstrong
R-Kalispell

Leonard Esp
R-Big Timber
Joseph McElwain
R-Deer Lodge
 
Session
House Speaker
Speaker Pro Tem
Majority Leader Minority Leader
1949

Leo Graybill
D-Great Falls

N.A. Peterson
D-Valier
Henry Loble
D-Helena
 
1947

Charles Scofield
R-Biddle

Dean Chaffin
R-Bozeman
Ory Armstrong
R-Kalispell
 
1945

George O'Connor
R-Fromberg

Frank Hazelbaker
R-Missoula
Ralph Bricker
R-Great Falls

David James
D-Joplin

1943

George O'Connor
R-Fromberg

Neil Parker
R-Bigfork
R.C. Dillavou
R-Billings
Paul Cannon
D-Butte
1941

E.J. Stromnes
D-Great Falls

Paul Cannon
D-Butte
E.J. Byrne
D-Galata
E.G. Toomey
R-Helena
1939

D.M. Manning
D-Hysham

Jasper DeDobbeleer
D-Glasgow
Archie McLeod
D-Great Falls
Ben Miles
R-McLeod
1937

H.D. Rolph
D-Joplin

George Monahan
D-Livingston
Sam Spiegel
D-Butte
 
1935

W.P. Pilgeram
D-Armington

H.D. Rolph
D-Joplin
E.J. Byrne
D-Galata
 
1933

Dennis Dellwo
D-Charlo

Herbert Haight
D-Suffolk
Albert Besancon
D-Missoula
 
1931

W.R. Flachsenhar
R-Terry

Steve Arnold
R-Broadview
W.B. Leavitt
R-Miles City
 
1929

Ralph Bricker
R-Windham

Elmer Johnson
R-Glasgow
W.R. Flachsenhar
R-Terry
 
1927

Glenn Davis
R-Carlyle

G.M. Moss
R-Whitefish
Ralph Bricker
R-Windham
 
1925

Ralph Bricker
R-Windham

C.F. Holt
R-Great Falls
William Ruffcorn
R-Glasgow
 
1923

Calvin Crumbaker
R-Fort Benton

A.O. Gullidge
R-Terry
Charles Swift
R-Hysham
 
1921

Fred Gibson
R-Livingston

Percy Dodds
R-Whitefish
Edward Johnson
R-Anaconda
 
Session
House Speaker
Speaker Pro Tem
Majority Leader Minority Leader
1919

O.W. Belden
R-Lewistown

Ronald Higgins
R-Missoula
   
1917

Jas. F. O'Connor
D-Livingston

Thomas Kehoe
D-Billings
   
1915

George Ramsey
D-Helena

J.E. McNally
D-Butte
   
1913

Alexander MacDonald
D-Kalispell

Joseph Kirschwing
D-Great Falls
   
1911

W.W. McDowell
D-Butte

R. Lee Word
D-Helena
   
1909

W.W. McDowell
D-Butte

Edward Burke
D-Anaconda
   
1907

E.W. King
R-Bozeman

W.R. Allen
R-Anaconda
   
1905

Wyllis Hedges
R-Fergus Co

Marcus Hewett
R-Basin
   
1903

Benjamin White
R-Dillon

Aaron Conner
R-Darby
   
1901

Frank Corbett
D-Butte

John Baker
D-Helena
   
1899

Henry Stiff
D-Missoula

Edwin Lamb
D-Silver Bow Co
   
1897

Jacob Kennedy
D-Deer Lodge Co

     
1895

Wilbra Swett
R-Silver Bow Co

     
1893

Thomas Matthews
Populist-Silver Bow Co

A.F. Bray
Populist-Butte City
   
1891

Harry Comly
D-Lewis & Clark Co

R.G. Humber
D-Deer Lodge Co
   
1889

Charles Blakely****
D-Gallatin Co
Aaron Witter
R-Beaverhead Co

     

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* Before 1974, the lieutenant governor served as presiding officer of the Senate.

** In 1963, there was no president of the Senate because there was no lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov. Tim Babcock had become acting governor upon the death of Gov. Donald Nutter on Jan. 25, 1962.

*** Gov. John Erickson was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1933 upon the death of Thomas Walsh. Lt. Gov. Frank Cooney became acting governor. State Sen. Ernest Eaton was elected president pro tem but served as Senate president.

**** In 1889, voting irregularities led to a dispute over the outcome of legislative elections in Silver Bow County. The dispute was never resolved because the law didn't clearly explain how to certify the election of legislators. So each party sent its own five legislators from Silver Bow County to Helena, and Montana actually had a Democrat House and a Republican House, which met separately.

Sources:
Atlas of Montana Elections 1889-1976, compiled by Ellis Waldron and Paul B. Wilson, 1978.
House and Senate Floor Journals, 1889-2007.
Montana Directory of Public Affairs, compiled by Ralph E. Owings, 1956.
Vertical files, Montana Historical Society.


 

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Last Modified:
12/17/2012 3:43:27 PM

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