Leif Erickson (politician)

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Leif Erickson (July 29, 1906 – December 22, 1998) was an American politician who served as the Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court from 1938 to 1946.


Erickson was born to Oluf and Dora B. Erickson in Cashton, Wisconsin.[1] On December 29, 1932 he married Huberta Burton Brown. He died in Missoula, Montana. Erickson was a Lutheran.


Erickson was District Attorney of Richland County, Montana from 1936 to 1938 and was a Justice of the Montana Supreme Court from 1938 to 1946. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1948, 1952, and 1956. In 1944, he ran for Governor of Montana, winning the Democratic primary and advancing to the general election, where he opposed incumbent Republican Governor Sam C. Ford. Ford ended up defeating Erickson by a wide margin to win his second term as Governor. Erickson challenged incumbent United States Senator Burton K. Wheeler in the Democratic primary in 1946, and though he ended up defeating Wheeler in an upset, he lost the general election to Republican State Senator Zales Ecton. He ran for Governor once more in 1948, but finished third in the Democratic primary behind former State Attorney General John W. Bonner and Arthur Lamey. From 1956 to 1958 he was Chairman of the Montana Democratic Party and from 1962 to 1973 he was a Democratic National Committeeman.