Archive: Governors

Selected cartoons on Ted Schwinden, Stan Stephens, and gubernatorial wannabes.

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In 1984, Ted Schwinden was poised to run for a second term.  He was a popular governor, and the Republicans had a hard time coming up with a  contender.

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The Republicans eventually trotted out Pat Goodover, who ran a feeble race against Schwinden and lost by more than 40 points.

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After Schwinden won re-election, he shuffled his department directors.

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As with many governors before and since, Schwinden faced revenue issues.

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In 1987, Gov. Schwinden proposed tapping the Coal Severance Tax Trust Fund to solve budget issues.  The idea gained no traction.

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Secretary of State Jim Waltermire was never coy about his political ambitions.

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When Ted Schwinden made it clear he would not seek a third term in 1988, it opened the door for several Democratic candidates.

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In 1987, Frank Morrison (D) and Jim Waltermire (R) led early fund-raising efforts.  Morrison lost the Democratic primary.  While a front-runner, Waltermire died in a plane crash east of Helena in April 1988.

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Although he was coy about his plans, Attorney General Mike Greely eventually entered the Democratic race – and lost in the primary.

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The Democrats were unable to convince U.S. Rep. Pat Williams to run for governor in 1988.  In a blast from the past, Tom Judge (Gov. 1973-1981) won the nomination in a six-way primary battle.

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In 1988, Republican Stan Stephens ran successfully for governor, defeating Tom Judge. His campaign largely sidestepped his legislative record; he served several terms, including one as President of the Senate.  By the way, he played the trumpet well.

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After the first legislative session of his term, Gov. Stephens vetoed several bills.  He vetoed even more in 1991.

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In his first year in office, Gov. Stephens issued an executive order for all his departments to submit proposed rules to his office before proceeding with rule-making.  The outcome was predictable.

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As a special session of the legislature loomed in 1989, a lot of blamin’ was goin’ on.  On the left, Democratic characters are Hal Harper, John Vincent and Bill Norman.  On the right, GOP characters are Gov. Stephens, Jack Galt and Jack Ramirez.

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The handwriting on the wall.  Steve Yeakel was Stephens’s budget director.

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Stan Stephens called a special session in 1991 to deal with budget issues.

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Even after a special session, the perennial budget problem confronted Stan Stephens in 1992.

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Stan Stephens bowed out after one term, citing health issues.  Those waiting in the wings were Lt. Gov. Denny Rehberg and State Auditor Andy Bennett.  Rehberg didn’t run; in fact, he recruited Attorney General Marc Racicot to take the helm. Andy Bennett ran and lost to Racicot, who eventually was elected governor.

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After Stan Stephens withdrew from the race, the Democrats were in a pickle.

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The 1992 race between Dorothy Bradley and Marc Racicot got down and dirty.