Leadership

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

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.

 

Senate

Session Senate President President Pro Tem Majority Leader Minority Leader
2017 Scott Sales
R-Bozeman
Bob Keenan
R-Bigfork
Fred Thomas
R-Stevensville
Jon Sesso
D-Butte
2015

Debby Barrett
R-Dillon

Frederick (Eric) Moore
R-Miles City
Matthew Rosendale
R-Glendive
Jon Sesso
D-Butte
2013

Jeff Essmann
R-Billings

Debby Barrett
R-Dillon
Art Wittich
R-Bozeman
Jon Sesso
D-Butte
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
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
 
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
   
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
     

* 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.

House

Session House Speaker Speaker Pro Tem Majority Leader Minority Leader
2017 Austin Knudsen
R-Culbertson
Greg Hertz
R-Polson
Ron Ehli
R-Hamilton
Jenny Eck
D-Helena
2015 Austin Knudsen
R-Culbertson
Lee Randall
R-Broadus
Keith Regier
R-Kalispell
Chuck Hunter
D-Helena
2013 Mark Blasdel
R-Kalispell
Austin Knudsen
R-Culbertson
Gordon Vance
R-Belgrade
Chuck Hunter
D-Helena
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
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
 
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
 
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
     

**** 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.