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List of Governors of Montana facts for kids

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Governor of Montana
Seal of the State of Montana
Steve Bullock 2011.jpg
Steve Bullock

since January 7, 2013
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.
Salary $108,167 (2013)

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

The current Montana Constitution, ratified in 1972, calls for a four-year term for the governor, commencing on the first Monday in January following an election. The governor is term-limited to 8 years in any 16-year period. 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; 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. The 1889 constitution made the lieutenant governor president of the state senate, but this provision was removed in the 1972 constitution.

Montana has had 24 governors (ten of whom were actually born within state boundaries), consisting of 9 Republicans and 15 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 Steve Bullock, who took office on January 7, 2013 and was re-elected in 2016.

Other high offices held

This is a table of the equivalent or higher state and 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
Governor Gubernatorial term Higher offices held
Toole, JosephJoseph Toole 1889–1893
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|- valign="top" Ford, Sam C.Sam C. Ford 1929–1933 Montana Supreme Court Associate Justice
Stewart, Sam V. Sam V. Stewart 1933-1939 Montana Supreme Court Associate Justice
Ayers, Roy E.Roy E. Ayers 1937–1941 U.S. Representative
Anderson, Forrest H.Forrest H. Anderson 1953–1956 Montana Supreme Court Associate Justice
Bonner, John W.John W. Bonner 1969-1970 Montana Supreme Court Associate Justice
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