History of the Office

History of the Office

The current secretary, Corey Stapleton, took office in January 2017 and is the 21st person to hold the office since Montana became a state in 1889. Frank Murray holds the record for the longest term in office: 24 years, from 1957 to 1981. The record for the shortest term goes to Robert Hawkins, who served for not quite two months in 1927.

In 1992, Montanans passed a constitutional initiative (CI 64) establishing limits on how long legislators and elected executive officers can hold office. As a result, beginning with Secretary of State Bob Brown, no one may serve longer than eight consecutive years in the position.

Corey Stapleton
January 2017 - Present
Republican
Linda McCulloch
January 2009 - January 2017
Democrat
Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson
January 2005 - 2009
Republican
Bob Brown Bob Brown
January 2001 - January 2005
Republican
Mike Cooney
Mike Cooney
January 1989 - January 2001
Democrat
Verner Bertelsen Verner Bertelsen
April 1988 - January 1989
Republican
(Appointed)
Jim Waltermire
Jim Waltermire
January 1981 - April 1988
Republican
(Died while in office)
Frank Murray Frank Murray
January 1957 - January 1981
Democrat
S.C. Arnold
S.C. Arnold
June 1955 - January 1957
Republican (Appointed)
Sam W. Mitchell Sam W. Mitchell
January 1933 - June 1955
Democrat
(Died while in office)
William E. Harmon
William E. Harmon
January 1929 - January 1933
Republican
John W. Mountjoy John W. Mountjoy
April 1928 - January 1929
Democrat
William Powers
William Powers
May 1927 - April 1928
Party affiliation unknown(Resigned)
Robert N. Hawkins Robert N. Hawkins
March 1927 - April 1927
Democrat
(Resigned)
Charles T. Stewart
Charles T. Stewart
January 1917 - March 1927
Republican
(Impeached, resigned)
Adelbert M. Alderson Adelbert M. Alderson
January 1913 - December 1916
Democrat
Thomas M. Swindlehurst
Thomas M. Swindlehurst
August 1911 - January 1913
Democrat
Abraham N. Yoder Abraham N. Yoder
January 1905 - August 1911
Republican
(Died while in office)
George M. Hays
George M. Hays
January 1901 - January 1905
Democrat
T.S. Hogan T.S. Hogan
January 1897 - January 1901
Populist
Louis Rotwitt
Louis Rotwitt
November 1889 - January 1897
Republican